The Top 10 Most Common Drugs

Category: Drug Information


Posted on September 19, 2022

Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.

Over 66% of people in the United States take prescription drugs. Whether that is because of a chronic condition or a condition that comes up temporarily, there are so many different prescription medications that doctors choose to prescribe on a daily basis.

But what are the most used drugs? What are the top 10 most common drugs that doctors prescribe to patients?

In this article, we'll go over the top 10 prescription medications and what they are used to treat.

1. Atorvastatin

Atorvastatin, otherwise known as Lipitor, is one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. Yearly, there are millions of prescriptions written for this drug.

But why?

Atorvastatin helps to lower cholesterol and overall fat levels that may be found in your bloodstream. In addition to lowering the bad cholesterol, it helps to increase the good cholesterol found in your blood. If someone has too much fat in their bloodstream, this prescription drug can help reduce the likelihood of chest pain, heart attacks, and strokes.

Some people who take Atorvastatin may experience some side effects, but usually, they do not impede your daily life. However, some people may experience memory loss or confusion when taking this drug. Others may experience muscle pain and weakness as well as changes in kidney function.  

Always follow your doctor's advice when it comes to taking this drug, as most of the time you do have to keep up with your diet and exercise to notice a difference with the drug.

2. Levothyroxine

If you are a sufferer of thyroid problems, specifically hyperthyroidism, you may have been prescribed this medication. This medication is meant to replace the hormone that should be naturally produced in your body. However, when it is not, Levothyroxine can take place of it with the synthetically-made hormone.

Levothyroxine can also treat goiter. This can sometimes occur with hormone imbalances, radiation treatments, and some kinds of surgeries. 

It is always important to talk to your doctor before taking Levothyroxine. You shouldn't take it if you have certain medical conditions like adrenal gland disorder or thyrotoxicosis.

It is also important to note not to take Levothyroxine to treat weight issues.

To take this medication, it is usually an oral pill; however, there are injections available for this medication.  

3. Albuterol

Albuterol is a medication to prevent and help treat people who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. It can also treat chest tightness that may come with asthma or other lung diseases. 

Albuterol comes in the form of inhalation devices that are called bronchodilators. Both adults and children can use these to make breathing easier by opening up the air passages to the lungs.

Some people need albuterol all the time if they suffer from asthma with an inhaler, while others may only need some sprays of albuterol when they exercise.

Each inhaler is designed to provide 60 or 200 inhalations but depends on the size of the inhaler. The outside of the inhaler should tell you how many inhalations you have per inhaler. Even if you feel there is more liquid inside, when you get to the number of uses the inhaler states, you should throw it out and get a new one as the right amount of albuterol may not come out.

4. Omeprazole

Omeprazole a prescription medication but it is also available over the counter to treat certain conditions that occur because of too much acid present in the stomach. When Omeprazole is taken, the amount of acid that is in your stomach will be reduced because the medication reduces the amount of acid your stomach produces.

So what types of conditions cause too much stomach acid or vice versa?

You may feel indigestion, heartburn, or other forms of acid reflux. This may be due to gastroesophageal reflux disease. This could also be due to an ulcer.

If you do take Omeprazole, you may also deal with some side effects of the medication. The most common side effects are headaches, nausea, stomach pain, and constipation. 

5. Amoxicillin 

You've most likely heard of amoxicillin, and you've probably taken it at some point during your life! Amoxicillin is one of the most popular forms of an antibiotic, and it is most commonly used to treat bacterial infections like bronchitis, strep throat, ear infections, and more.

Because bacterial infections are so common, amoxicillin is prescribed millions of times per year. However, if you are prone to ear infections or strep, or other bacterial infections, it can create an immunity if you take Amoxicillin too often.

Because of this, there are many other antibiotic options out there as well.

In terms of Amoxicillin, you may experience side effects like nausea, diarrhea, or a skin rash.

6. Lisinopril 

Lisinopril is a common medication used to treat high blood pressure. With one out of two adults in the United States suffering from hypertension (or high blood pressure), this is a common medication. Since hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, it is important to get this under control through medication as well as changes in lifestyle.

Lisinopril acts as an enzyme inhibitor. It prevents an enzyme in your body from producing a substance that narrows your blood vessels, which heightens your blood pressure. 

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is smart to order a prescription in order to get it under control to reduce the likelihood of the other illnesses and ailments that high blood pressure can cause.

7. Metformin

Metformin is a medication that treats Type 2 Diabetes. When someone suffers from diabetes, their body cannot produce the right amount of insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal.

When there are fluctuations in blood sugar levels, it can wreak havoc on your hormones and emotions on a daily basis. But over time, it can cause vision loss, heart disease, and even kidney diseases. 

Metformin helps to keep your blood sugar levels more level, bringing them down from the heightened state that Type 2 Diabetes causes. Metformin can be used with other medications to help with the same thing, but should also be used in conjunction with a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Recently, Metformin has been used to treat PCOS. While this is not approved by the FDA, having a conversation with your doctor could be helpful to determine if it may be right for you.

8. Gabapentin

Gabapentin is mostly used to treat epilepsy as well as relieve pain, specifically nerve pain.

However, although not FDA-approved, gabapentin has been prescribed for many reasons, like nerve pain, menopause, anxiety, mood disorders, migraines, and insomnia. 

There are several ways you can take Gabapentin—a capsule, a tablet, or an oral solution. Gabapentin is most likely also taken multiple times a day, no matter what type of form you are taking the medication in. 

It is important to talk to your doctor about what to do for a missed dose as all medications are different. On another note, if you are taking the extended-release tablets, make sure to swallow them whole rather than cut or break them.

9. Antihistamines

Antihistamines are a very popular drug because they are used to treat all types of allergies. They come in ointment, gel, pill, suppository, oral liquid, and eye drop form.

Many antihistamines can cause drowsiness as the most severe side effect, so that is something to be aware of when taking one.

10. Losartan 

Losartan is a prescription medication that treats high blood pressure. It also can prevent stroke in those who suffer from high blood pressure. 

This medication can also help prevent damage to the kidneys due to diabetes.

This drug works by relaxing the muscles around blood vessels to allow for more blood flow.

If you take Losartan, you may experience side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, or even an irregular heartbeat. It is important to talk to a doctor if the side effects worsen or become unbearable over time.  

The Top 10 Most Common Drugs

Prescription medications are no joke, but they are also not uncommon. Prescription medications can be prescribed for a variety of reasons, but some are more common than others. Now that you know the top 10 most common drugs, you know a bit more about what people suffer from in the United States.

Now you also know what to do if you are ever prescribed one of these most used drugs. If you ever need one of these medications, do not hesitate to contact us to ask any questions or place an order.

Works Cited:

Prescription Drugs

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