A randomised controlled trial of topical glycopyrrolate, the first specific treatment for diabetic gustatory sweating

Diabetologia. 1997 Mar;40(3):299-301. doi: 10.1007/s001250050677.


The treatment of gustatory sweating in diabetes mellitus is usually with oral anti-cholinergic drugs, but these frequently lead to unacceptable side effects. Glycopyrrolate is an anti-muscarinic agent that can be applied topically and is efficacious in gustatory sweating occurring in other conditions. In a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study, we assessed the value of glycopyrrolate in 13 diabetic patients with gustatory sweating. Sweating was measured by a sweat challenge, and diaries recorded by the patients throughout the 2 weeks of each treatment period. Compared to placebo, glycopyrrolate reduced the sweat response to a challenge by 82% (p < 0.01). The frequency of episodes of gustatory sweating during the treatment period was also reduced by 51% (p < 0.01), with a nearly 100% reduction in the frequency of episodes of severe sweating (p < 0.01). In conclusion, topically applied glycopyrrolate is a very effective treatment in reducing both the severity and frequency of diabetic gustatory sweating.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glycopyrrolate / administration & dosage
  • Glycopyrrolate / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Respiration
  • Sweating, Gustatory / drug therapy*
  • Sweating, Gustatory / etiology


  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Placebos
  • Glycopyrrolate