propranolol for excessive sweating

Propranolol and Hyperhidrosis: Can Beta Blockers Help Manage Excessive Sweating

While many people sweat throughout their day-to-day lives, some suffer from excessive sweating which is uncontrollable and can interfere with the quality of daily life. Wearing lightweight clothing, turning up your air conditioning, and changing clothes frequently are tactics that can help reduce typical sweating but suffers of hyperhidrosis experience excessive sweating continually no necessarily related to heat for exercise. 

This sweating can lead to embarrassment and limit potential personal and profession growth opportunities.  Anecdotical reports suggest that propranolol may be useful to combat excessive sweating, especially in cases where the sweating intensities during stressful situations.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

First things first, we should look into what Hyperhidrosis is.  Hyperhidrosis is, according to WebMD, a “common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness.”  They estimate that 2-3% of all Americans suffer from underarm sweating or of the palms and/or soles of the feet.  This might not sound like all that much, but when you realize how many people live in America, it is quite a substantial picture.  In fact, America might have it ‘good,’ as some sources indicate that as many as 5% of the world’s total population deal with it.  Most people develop this condition once they are around the age of 13 or so.  Without taking action, individuals are simply going to have to trudge through life and ‘deal with it.’ 

The typical treatment for Hyperhidrosis can be any number of things.  Most of the time, a doctor will begin by prescribing a specialized antiperspirant.  Regular deodorants and antiperspirants will not work for them, but this kind works for a lot of people and is an ‘easy’ solution to try straight away.  Other potential treatments include oral medications, Botox, lasers, or possibly even surgery, among other potential fixes. 

What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a non-selective beta blocker that is FDA approved to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, uneven heartbeat, tremors, and migraine headaches. It was developed in 1962 and is one of the oldest and most widely used beta blockers on the market today with more than 16 million prescriptions for the medication in the US alone. It is sometimes prescribed for the “off label” use of performance and situational anxiety as it can block your body’s “fight or flight” response and allow your body to remain calm under stress.

Propranolol Usage for Hyperhidrosis

So while propranolol is not specifically FDA approved for hyperhidrosis treatment, it is commonly used off label for the treatment of the symptoms of event driven performance anxiety. One common symptom of performance anxiety is excessive and uncontrollable sweating so those who experience excessive sweating primarily around stressful situations have been known to benefit from propranolol.

Anecdotal reports from forums of hyperhidrosis suffers reports generally positive experiences with propranolol, so it’s a path worth considering and discussing with your doctor if you feel that anxiety is a major contributor to your hyperhidrosis.

Propranolol Dosage for Hyperhidrosis

Typically when propranolol is used off label for performance anxiety it is used in dosages of 10 – 20mgs take 30 minutes to an hour before the potentially stressful situation.

Other Options for Hyperhidrosis Treatment

  • Prescription Deodorant (Usually Containing Aluminum Chloride)
  • Botox Injections
  • Surgery and other Medical Procedures

Propranolol Interactions, Risk Factors, and Possible Side Effects

While generally regarded as low risk and not a controlled substance, propranolol is a prescription medication and it can have serious side efforts so it should not be taken lightly. Before taking propranolol it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have a history of:

  • Asthma, bronchospasm, or other problems related to breathing
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Slower than normal heart rate
  • Raynaud’s syndrome or other peripheral artery diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormal blood pressure levels

You should also notify your doctor of any medications you’re currently on to avoid any negative interactions.

Make sure to consult a certified medical professional to ensure propranolol is a safe treatment option for you and make sure you are receiving your medication from a certified US pharmacy to insure accurate dosing and quality standards are met.

It’s also important to point out that, although that there are potential side effects you could encounter if you decide to use propranolol including:

  • Slowed heart rate
  • Hair loss
  • Dry eyes
  • Nausea
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Breathing problems
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Vomiting

Although rare, more serious side efforts from propranolol can also occur. If you experience any of the following side effects after taking propranolol contact your doctor as soon as possible for assistance.

  • Significantly Reduced Heart Rate
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Rapid weight gain or fluid retention
  • Severe nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Visual Hallucinations
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or loss of consciousness

Physician and Public Perception of Propranolol Usage for Hyperhidrosis

While prescribing propranolol for symptoms of performance anxiety is relatively common and accepted among physicians today, there are still some who feel there are more appropriate options.  Beta blockers like propranolol are also banned by some professional sporting organizations so if you compete professionally it’s best to understand the rules for your specific league before trying propranolol

Conclusion: Is Propranolol Right for You?

Propranolol can help those who suffer from excessive sweating due to anxiety around stressful situations and event.  If you have persistent sweating unrelated to anxiety there may be better options to consider besides propranolol. can connect you with US licensed physicians who can prescribe propranolol and have it shipped directly to you if appropriate

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