Topical glycopyrrolate for patients with facial hyperhidrosis

Br J Dermatol. 2008 May;158(5):1094-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08476.x. Epub 2008 Feb 22.


Background: Facial hyperhidrosis may negatively impact the quality of life. Although various conservative modalities have been suggested, the condition is not often treated successfully.

Objectives: To examine whether topical glycopyrrolate could be an effective and safe treatment for facial hyperhidrosis.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with facial hyperhidrosis were enrolled and treated with 2% topical glycopyrrolate on one half of the forehead while the other half of the forehead was treated with a placebo.

Results: The sweat production rate of the half of the forehead treated with topical glycopyrrolate was significantly reduced to 37.6+/-2.8 mg min(-1) (mean+/-SEM) compared with 102.2+/-5.5 mg min(-1) at the placebo-treated half of the forehead (P<0.001). Patients evaluated their degree of anhidrosis as excellent in six (24%) patients, good in 16 (64%), fair in two (8%) and poor in one (4%). Twenty-four patients (96%) were partially or fully satisfied with their fair to excellent anhidrosis; only one patient (who developed a transient headache after treatment) was dissatisfied with its therapeutic effect. Only seven patients (28%) experienced recurrence within 1 day while 17 patients (68%) had recurrence within 2 days. One patient (4%) remained stable for up to 4 days.

Conclusions: Topical glycopyrrolate application appears to be effective and safe for the treatment of excessive facial sweating in primary craniofacial and secondary gustatory hyperhidrosis following sympathectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Facial Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycopyrrolate / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Sweating / drug effects


  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Glycopyrrolate