Illness

Medication, surgery & illness

Increased sweating can occur when we’re ill. Our temperature rises and we sweat to cool ourselves down and rid our body of toxins. Sweating can also occur as a side effect of certain types of medication or after having surgery. 

Medication

Sweating can be a side effect of several types of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Blood pressure tablets, pain medication, antibiotics, cancer treatments, anti-depressants, gastrointestinal, dermatological, diabetic and hormone drugs can all cause excessive sweating. 

If excessive sweating as a side effect of medication – or withdrawing from medication – is causing you concern, see your doctor for advice before making any changes to your routine.

Illness

Sweating when ill is often because you have a fever, infection or virus. Your body fights harder to keep your temperature down which causes you to sweat more. You can reduce the impact of fever and cold sweats by taking medicine that contains paracetamol and ibuprofen. 

If your body temperature is above 38ºC or you have other symptoms, you should seek medical advice.

Sweats and chills can also be a sign of other types of illness or medical conditions. Night sweats and excessive sweating during the day can be indicators of diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, some infections, hormonal disorders and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. If you’re worried that your cold sweats and fever might be symptoms of any of these illnesses, it is recommended that you visit your doctor. 

Surgery

If you’ve recently had surgery, side effects from the anaesthetic are another example of what causes cold sweats and chills. The drugs in your system will raise your body temperature and your body will try to cool you down by producing more sweat. This will pass within a day or two. If you’re still experiencing excessive sweating a few days after your operation, seek medical assistance, in case of an infection. 

Discover more about excessive sweating.

If you’re concerned about excessive sweating and the resulting odour, you might want to make use of an antiperspirant that offers 48 hour protection. Simply apply it after your evening and morning shower and you’re guaranteed to feel more comfortable. 

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