Recently approved by the FDA, Qbrexza™ (glycopyrronium) cloth is a neurotransmitter-blocking topical treatment of excessive underarm sweating.
How Does Qbrexza Work for Hyperhidrosis Underarm Treatment?
From the company’s website:
The main active ingredient in Qbrexza, glycopyrronium, is a competitive inhibitor of acetylcholine receptors that are located on certain peripheral tissues, including sweat glands.
This means Qbrexza blocks the “sweat signals” sent to certain sweat glands, inhibiting the action of acetylcholine on those glands and thereby reducing the extent of sweating.
In simple terms, the medicine tells the underarm sweat glands to stop sweating.
Blocking sweat signals is fundamentally different from blocking sweat glands, which is pretty much what antiperspirants do.
So, the drug does not inhibit your underarm sweat glands. It just blocks the signals that would otherwise be telling the underarm sweat glands to sweat.
Definitely an interesting alternative.
Qbrexza Usage & Application in Hyperhidrosis Cure
The treatment will be available by prescription-only starting in October 2018. So you’ll need to see a dermatologist or your doctor in order to get Qbrexza.
The Qbrexza cloth sounds similar in design to an antiperspirant towelette or toilet wipe.
Each cloth provides coverage for (2) underarms, and each dosage is good for approximately 1 day.
Dermira is the company behind the new excessive underarm sweating treatment. I emailed them to get some additional information about the hyperhidrosis underarm treatment.
Q1. There are products such as SweatBlock and Sweat Shield Ultra that are easy to get (no prescription), last about a week, and are pretty effective.
Why would someone use Qbrexza over other clinical strength or 7-day antiperspirants specifically designed to treat extreme sweating?
We cannot speak to the over-the-counter products you mention above. But, I can assure you that Qbrexza is the first topical prescription cloth to get approval for treating excessive underarm sweating.
It specifically does the job of blocking sweat production by inhibiting sweat gland activation, thereby reducing a person’s overall sweating.
Unlike the topical products available today, we studied this drug in two Phase 3 clinical studies. Also, it was compared to a vehicle product (think a placebo, which is common in clinical studies). The participants in the studies experienced a noticeable and sustained reduction in their overall sweating after 4 weeks of treatment.
The improvement started showing at an early period. In both trials, people began to experience a reduction in the first week. They continued to notice reductions in their sweat production through week 4 of the 4-week trial.
Q2. After applying Qbrexza, how long does it take for the active ingredient to dry & take effect?
In my experience with 7-day antiperspirant products, it’s better to apply them at night, rather than in the morning after showering for several reasons. Is it the same with this new drug?
As noted above, patients began to notice its effect within the one week of hyperhidrosis underarm treatment.
Once applied to both underarms, the active ingredient in the medicated topical cloth dries quickly. People should immediately wash their hands following application and avoid touching their eyes.
You can apply at any time, but not more than once every 24 hours.
It is important to note that we used it at night in the clinical studies.
Q3. Since people require a prescription, will all major health plans cover the cost (with exception to whatever co-pay would be required)?
Yes, a prescription is necessary for Qbrexza.
We are working diligently to ensure that major commercial health plans in the U.S. cover it.
We do intend to have a patient assistance program. Its goal will be to ensure that people who need access to this remedy receive the treatment.
Q4. How & in what quantities will Qbrexza be prescribed?
The medicine is supplied as a carton of 30 individually wrapped cloths (a one-month supply).
One cloth holds enough medicine for use on both underarms each day. The users should strictly follow the directions.
You should discard the single-use cloth after using once.
Q5. How much will this drug cost an individual, on average, for a 30 day supply with medical coverage, and without?
For example, sweating cure products like Sweat Shield Ultra and SweatBlock cost about $8 month, on average. Curious to know what the comparable cost of Qbrexza will be.
We are not disclosing the price at this time but the therapy will have a competitive price tag.
We will reveal the price close to the availability of the cloth. The expected launching is in October 2018 in pharmacies nationwide.
Q6. Is there anything else that you’d like to share about Qbrexza to people who are currently using 7-day antiperspirants?
Why should they consider switching to Qbrexza?
We believe that Qbrexza can provide meaningful clinical benefit for patients living with that condition compared to the current hyperhidrosis underarm treatment options available.
Q7. Is there any difference in how an individual would experience a reduction or elimination of sweat compared to using an antiperspirant?
Meaning, in your clinical trials, did patients provide any subjective opinions or contrast of using Qbrexza vs using clinical-strength antiperspirant or 7-day antiperspirant?
We didn’t compare Qbrexza to a standard antiperspirant as those are over-the-counter products while it is a prescription product.
(Note: In clinical trials for any therapy seeking FDA approval, they are only compared to another FDA-approved prescription therapy that is currently on the market/approved).
What I can tell you is that patients did not have permission to use antiperspirants in the clinical trials. But, they could use deodorant.
One of the unique features of our clinical trials is a patient questionnaire that we developed – the Axillary Sweat Daily Diary or ASDD.
The ASDD is a patient-reported outcome tool, which we developed with the FDA. It essentially allows patients to tell us the impact that hyperhidrosis underarm treatment with Qbrexza had on their daily sweating and activities.
One question, in particular, asked patients to assess their sweating severity before and after using this drug. This was also one of the key measures of the FDA to determine its approval.
The tool itself is a little on the complicated side. But, if you’re curious, I can attempt to break it down for you. 😊
The long and short of it is, patients who received Qbrexza reported experiencing positive outcomes. They enjoyed an overall improvement in their sweating compared to the vehicle.
We didn’t just take a quantitative measure, but a qualitative one.
Q7a. I’m sure the differences would be substantial compared to regular antiperspirants. That said, I would suspect that a large portion of the sufferers use stronger antiperspirants since they will be more effective in sweat suppression.
So I’m curious what the experience would be in that particular situation.
Please see above.
That said, we do know that patients had tried over-the-counter antiperspirants prior to enrolling in the clinical trials. So presumably if they were seeking out another treatment option, they generally were not satisfied with the previous results.
Q8. I know the focus for Qbrexza is in the underarm area. But, do you have any plan to allow its use for other axillary hyperhidrosis conditions, such as sweaty feet, back, chest, etc.?
I assume that sweaty hands cure won’t be on the radar, considering the instructions suggesting washing hands immediately after use. So I’m curious about other body parts.
Qbrexza is appropriate for topical use in the underarm area only.
However, Dermira is committed to addressing the clinical needs of patients with excessive sweating.
This may include exploring additional indications for this drug.