Argh, the sweat!
June 10, 2016 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Tips for dealing with SSRI-exacerbated sweatiness?

I've always been a sweaty dude. (Not helped by being a fat sweaty dude, but I'm working on that part.) I started a daily 100mg Sertraline (Zoloft) dosage a couple years ago, and it's done wonders for its intended purpose, but as the summer heat kicks in, the sweaty side effects are JUST AWFUL. My head and face will end up literally drenched after just a few minutes doing anything in the heat. We're needing to change our sheets on our bed almost daily because I pull a blanket over myself and wake up just drenched. I want to start exercising more, but the sweatiness makes it hard to want to - even if I'm exercising indoors in the A/C.
Suggestions for dealing with this? And yes, I will talk to my GP, but am really hesitant to change the SSRI dosage because it seems to be working like it is ... except for the sweat.
posted by jferg to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am a sweaty lady and I had sweating as a side effect of Wellbutrin (although not an SSRI). At the time (several years ago), nothing helped and I ultimately quit it. I'm now on an extended-release version of Wellbutrin, and I'm not experiencing that side effect. The extended release may or may not be the difference.

As my standard extra-sweaty self, I've ultimately done things like switch from a deodorant without antiperspirant (because I sweat a lot either way and sweat + antiperspirant seems to ruin clothes) and invested in some garment shields, which come in disposable tape-in and washable pin-in versions.
posted by mchorn at 12:08 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel ya on this one. I take Zoloft, too, and have horrible sweat issues - at all times of the year. For me, I've noticed that I can be okay on the sweatiness scale if I avoid the following:

- Red Wine;
- Beer;
- Hell... any kind of alcohol;
- Being nervous;
- Coffee;
- basically anything that looks even remotely like normal life.

I've decided to just carry a tissue/napkin/extra large towel (kidding on the towel) with me everywhere I go. If I'm at someone's home, socializing and drinking wine/beer/anything, I'll try to be discreet about dabbing at the sweat running down the side of my face and neck. Ultimately, though, I'll explain to the host that it's not their a/c - it's me and my awful metabolism/whatever.

Other than that, I try not to draw attention to it; so far, no one has asked me what's up with the sweat (like you, my sweat comes from my head and is just a deluge; my hands and the rest of me are usually okay).

I have not found a way to stop it or mitigate it, though. If you find something that works, or your GP recommends something, could you come back and update this?

In the meantime, be sure to hydrate.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 12:23 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

oy I have this from Prozac, I feel your pain!! I always dress in extreme layers so I can strip down to tank/t-shirt level if needed. I ALWAYS carry a handkerchief to use mopping up extra face/neck sweat. but I have also resigned myself to being sweaty, because Prozac works really well for me...

if you are having acute overheating a quick cool down (when possible) is to dip your wrists in cold water, or under cold running water. this will cool you down in just a few minutes.

count your blessings: I am approaching peri-menopause and I DREAD it :P
posted by supermedusa at 1:23 PM on June 10, 2016

I am a naturally hot person who sweats on the face due to heat or anxiety. Then I developed hyperthyroidism and nearly drowned in sweat. Ask your doctor for a prescription for an anti-hyperhydrosis pill. There are a few to choose from.
posted by cecic at 1:25 PM on June 10, 2016

I am like you. I am naturally sweaty, but Prozac makes it 10x worse.

The best deodorant/antiperspirant I have found for this is Old Spice Sweat Defense. It is a stick, but it comes out like a cream. It seems to keep my armpits dryer, at least.

As for the sweaty head/face/neck: I feel you. This happens to me every time I have move around heavy boxes and stuff, which also happens to be the times I am working on important events with VIPs I don't want to look bad in front of. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine definitely help.
posted by tacodave at 1:40 PM on June 10, 2016

I sweat like a pig, also. I came in here all set to share what I've done to cope with hair and makeup and this cute fan I found at World Market,'re a dude. Oh well, you're still getting good advice. You might want to start carrying an old-school handkerchief in your back pocket, or wearing bandanas or hats as your outfits allow. I've heard of bandanas and head coolers that you soak in water, then wring out and wear under a cap or hard hat, or as a do-rag. Those might help, unless you work in a 9-5 office or something. Good luck!
posted by jhope71 at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2016

Oh, i feel for you and can totally relate. And I live somewhere it's hot more than half the year.

I make sure I always have a large cotton handkerchief with me so I can dab at my face. Much better than tissues which go soggy super quick and risk little bits sticking to your face.
posted by kitten magic at 2:55 PM on June 10, 2016

Paper towels are good for blotting, too.
posted by Carol Anne at 4:11 PM on June 10, 2016

Oh, I forgot to add: an ice pack or even just a cool damp cloth on the back of my neck can calm my sweating sometimes.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 5:33 PM on June 10, 2016

When you're going into the heat: wet a bandana and roll it up and put it in the freezer. 20 minutes or more later, tie it with the back on your neck. This will do wonders, as it cools off the blood in this big arteries and veins in your neck.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:27 PM on June 10, 2016

Hang in there. My night sweats, caused by Paxil I believe, come and go and I've been on it for 6 or 7 years. (First and only SSRI I've ever taken). I think my night sweats are more frequent in the winter odd as that my seem. I remember having to change my t-shirt a couple times a night when the night sweats were at their worst.

I'm was also born heavy, heavy sweater. On summer mornings after a run, I''ll be sweating in the shower and while I put my clothes on for work. I won't stop sweating until I get in my car and get the AC blasting in my face.
posted by qsysopr at 6:43 PM on June 11, 2016

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