Top 10 Prescription Drugs

Top 10 Prescription Drugs

Annual Report on Drug Use

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released its annual review of use of medicines in April 2011. The [report revealed that spending on medication in the United States exceeded $707 billion dollars in 2010. This is an increase by approximately $60 billion since 2005.

America’s most popular drugs include pain killers, heart medication, antibiotics, thyroid medication and medication for cholesterol. Alarmingly, the number one medication prescribed in 2010 was an opioid analgesic that is for chronic pain. This snapshot of prescription medications shows an interesting idea on what the worries of the typical American might be. Pain, obesity or weight problems and stress along with minor bacterial or viral issues. Pain issues could be linked to obesity; many people suffer from back, knee, leg and feet problems when they are overweight and often do less exercise than they should. Stress is often linked to overeating; some people find they over eat when they are in high stress jobs, it may be the way they respond to stressful or anxiety issues.


Hydrocodone acetaminophen, or vicodin, is a medication prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic and when combined with acetaminophen, an substance similar to paracetamol, it provides effective strong pain reliever and can reduce fevers.

Vicodin was prescribed over 130 million times in 2010 in America. Vicodin addiction is unfortunately growing problem. Because Vicodin is an opiate drug, it has a high risk of addiction and abuse. Although the drug may be prescribed to treat pain, they may begin to take more of the medication or taking it in non-prescribed ways. People may begin to go to different doctors, emergency rooms or dental clinics to get the drug prescribed. Many people struggle with physical and emotional dependency to the drug.


Zocor, or simvastatin, is a drug that is prescribed to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. It has been found to successfully lower the risk of stoke, heart attack and other heart complications. Zocor has been found to have some interactions with other medications, cause birth defects to unborn children and may cause serious health complications in people who suffer from kidney disease or diabetes. Around 36 million Americans have high cholesterol and require prescription medication to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. Over 9/4 million prescriptions were written for Zocor in 2010.


Prinivil, generic name Lisinopril, is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure and other heart conditions. Over 87 million prescriptions were written for Prinivil in the US in 2010. Prinivil has been found to be beneficial for people who may be at risk of heart attacks. It can however, cause complications for people who suffer from kidney disease and has been linked to an increase in the risk of renal failure.


Synthroid was prescribed over 70 million times in 2010 in the United States. Synthroid is a synthetic hormone that is prescribed to treat hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition that lowers the thyroid hormone in the body. This hormone regulates energy and metabolism of the body and synthroid raises the level of the hormone in the body back to normal levels. Synthroid can also be given to patients who have had cancer radiation treatment.


Norvasc, also known as amlodipine, is another medication that is prescribed for hypertension. Norvasc belongs to a class of medications known as calcium channel blockers. Medications in this class block the transportation of calcium in the blood which relaxes the arterial muscles. If arterial muscles are relaxed, blood pressure is reduced, blood flow is improved and demand for oxygen in the heart is lessened. This greatly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, prevents angina and reduces blood pressure. Over 57 million prescriptions were written for Norvasc in 2010.


Acid reflux is a condition that affects millions of people world wide. Acid reflux can be successfully prevented through a range of lifestyle changes which include losing weight, reducing stress and avoiding trigger foods such as high acid or spicy foods. However, Prilosec, which is a medication that treats acid reflux was prescribed over 53 million times in 2010. Prilosec works by decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach which can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, damage to esophagus caused by stomach acid and other related issues.


Zithromax is an antibiotic medication that was prescribed over 52 million times in the United Sates in 2010. Zithromax, or azithromycin successfully treats bacterial infections such as influenza, strep throat, pneumonia and other infections. It can also be prescribed to treat skin and ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases and can be safety prescribed to children


Amoxicillin is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for children and adults to treat bacterial infections. Over 52 million prescribed doses of this medication were written in 2010. Typical infections that are treated with amoxicillin included urinary tract infections, skin infections and respiratory infections. Improper use or over use of this drug can lead to resistance to the active ingredients.


Glucophage or metformin, helps to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic people. It can be used in combination with other diabetes medication including insulin. It is often the drug of choice for doctors who treat type 2 diabetes and has also found to be successful in the treatment of other conditions such as poly-cystic ovary syndrome. Over 25 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes which is directly linked to obesity and 48 million prescriptions for glucophage were written in 2010.


1 in 3 Americans are reported to suffer from high blood pressure and over 47 million prescriptions were written for hydrodiuril which is a diuretic that can help reduce blood pressure. Diuretic medications reduces ability of the kidneys from absorbing too much salt and to retaining water. Hydrodiuril is also used in the treatment of congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disorders,