Dermira and Qbrexza

The company Dermira has come out with a new cutting edge medication called Qbrexza that may revolutionize hyperhidrosis treatment. Read on to find out what it is, how it works and how to get it.
Dermira and Qbrexza

Hyperhidrosis, a condition in which the body produces sweat in excess of what is needed to maintain homeostasis of thermoregulation, is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. It is estimated that it affects about 3% of the US population, and even higher proportions of the populations in some other countries. While there are various treatment options available, they are often time consuming and expensive.[1] That is why it is so important that future treatments and research for hyperhidrosis is being conducted. Currently, anticholinergic medications like glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin are treatment options for heavy sweaters, but until recently they were not available in a topical form that was effective in treating hyperhidrosis. When taken orally, anticholinergic medications can have systemic side effects that often deter patients from sticking with their treatment. Qbrexa is a revolutionary product because it allows patients to use anticholinergic medication, which are effective at preventing sweat production, without exposing them to as many side effects because it is a localized treatment.

Qbrexza: What It Is and How It Works

Qbrexza is the newest product approved by the FDA to treat primary axillary hyperhidrosis. It is a medicated cloth which can be used as a topical treatment to stop the excessive axillary sweating that many people with hyperhidrosis suffer from. Qbrexza contains a topical anticholinergic medication called glycopyrronium which is highly effective at inhibiting sweat gland activation, thus blocking sweat production.[2] Sweat glands are known to be overactive in people who have hyperhidrosis and the medicine in Qbrexza slows that process down. Qbrexza is simple and easy to use. Each medicated cloth is designated to be used one time on a clean underarm. Qbrexza should only be used to treat axillary sweating as it is not approved for use on other parts of the body. It only needs to be applied once every 24 hours, making it quite convenient.[3]

There have been other treatments for axillary hyperhidrosis approved by the FDA. In 2004 Botox injections were approved and in 2011 the FDA approved a treatment called Miradry. Botox treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis is highly effective, but it needs to be repeated after several months and it can be invasive and expensive. Miradry is a local permanent treatment option for axillary hyperhidrosis, it has been found to be effective but it is also very expensive. The cost of hyperhidrosis is an issue for many patients seeking treatment for their condition, and continues to be a problem as many insurance plans don’t cover options like MiraDry.[1] This makes Qbrexza unique as it provides patients with a treatment option that is effective, noninvasive, and cost effective.

In order to recieve FDA approval, Qbrexza has gone through clinical trials. The results of two of these clinical trials, called ATMOS-1 and ATMOS-2, are what led to the FDA giving Qbrexza approval. The clinical trials were done to test the efficacy and safety of Qbrexza. Both trials tested the change in the amount of sweat production participants produced before and after treatment. Participants were tested by weighing the amount of sweat they produced and by giving them an Axillary Sweating Daily Diary which is a patient-reported outcome tool developed by Dermira under the consultation of the FDA.[2]

Qbrexza may provide relief for thousands of people who would otherwise lack appropriate treatment. While there have been innovations in treatment options for axillary hyperhidrosis over the years, there hasn’t been an easy and effective solution for those with hyperhidrosis.[4] Hopefully, in the coming years Qbrexza will provide a successful treatment option for those with hyperhidrosis who are either unable to receive other treatments or who haven’t found a treatment option that works.

Who Can Use It?

Qbrexza can be used by hyperhidrosis patients that are over the age of nine. Another fact that makes Qbrexza remarkable is that it can be used by the pediatric population. There are not many medical treatments for children with hyperhidrosis that can be used safely. A product that allows a hyperhidrosis patient to experience relief during adolescents may prevent the development of anxiety that is often associated with hyperhidrosis. There is currently no information available regarding the use of Qbrexza in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.[2] It is always advisable to avoid medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless they are proven to be safe.[2]

Adverse Reactions

There are several potential adverse reactions that are similar to the side effects produced by oral anticholinergics. Adverse reactions from Qbrexza are less likely to occur than those caused by oral medications for hyperhidrosis because the active ingredient is given in a topical form on a localized area of the body. The most common side effects were dry mouth (24.2%), mydriasis (6.8%), oropharyngeal pain (5.7%), headache (5.0%), urinary hesitation (3.5%), vision blurred (3.5%) and several other effects that occurred in less than 3% of patients.[2]

When It Will Become Available and How To Get It

Qbrexza was approved by the FDA in June of 2018 and will be released in October of 2018. In order to obtain Qbrexza patients must get a prescription from their doctor. It will be covered by Express Scripts (ESRX) and OptumRx, as both companies agreed to provide immediate coverage. Furthermore, Demira has agreed not to increase the list price of Qbrexza in 2019 so that patients can more easily afford the treatment. Dermira has also set up a new patient access program called DermiraConnect that will allow patients to recieve better access to Qbrexza.[5]

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  2. Qbrexza. (2018). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://dermira.com/our-medicines/
  3. PATIENT INFORMATION Qbrexza™. (2018). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from http://pi.dermira.com/QbrexzaPPI.pdf
  4. Dermira Provides Launch Readiness Update for QBREXZA(TM) (glycopyrronium) Cloth for Primary Axillary Hyperhidrosis. (2018, September). Dow Jones Institutional News. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  5. Dermira's QBREXZA To Be Covered by Express Scripts and OptumRx; Shares Gain 5%. (2018, September). Live Briefs US.
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