The 10 Most Popular Prescription Drugs In The US


By Lydia Ramsey

Dozens of prescription drugs — from Advil to the EpiPen — have become household names.

But some are more prevalent than others.

A startup that lists drug prices and sells prescription drugs at discounted rates, compiled a list of the 10 most popular prescription drugs in the US in 2017, based on claims data reported by pharmacies.

All of the drugs have gone generic and cost less than $15 for a month's prescription.

10. Motrin (ibuprofen) - used to treat fever and inflammation - $14

Ibuprofen, alongside naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin, are all part of a class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doses of 200 milligrams are available over the counter, while stronger doses are available via prescription.

The over-the-counter medication treats aches by reducing inflammation, which can lead to symptoms like heat, fever, swelling, pain or loss of movement.

9. Zofran (ondansetron) - used to prevent nausea - $13

Zofran, known generically as ondansetron, is an anti-nausea medication used by people who have undergone chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. It works by blocking serotonin, a chemical in the body that can cause nausea.

8. Glucophage (metformin) - used to treat diabetes - $5

Metformin is a type 2 diabetes medication that's used to regulate blood sugar levels by cutting back on glucose production in the liver.

7. Lipitor (atorvastatin) - used to treat high cholesterol - $12

Lipitor was the only cholesterol-reducing statin to make the list, though statins are among the most popular and best-selling drugs in the US.

6. Prinivil, Zestril (lisinopril) - used to treat hypertension - $7

Lisinopril is type of drug called an ACE inhibitor that's used to treat heart conditions including hypertension and congestive heart failure.

5. Neurontin (gabapentin) - used to treat seizures and nerve pain - $11

Gabapentin is used to treat seizures and neuropathic pain. It's often used to treat the nerve pain associated with shingles.

4. Amoxil (amoxicillin) - used to treat infections - $9

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic that's been around since the 1970s. It's used to treat common bacterial infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. It's on the WHO's list of essential medicines.

3. Delasone, Sterapred (prednisone) - used to treat arthritis - $5

Presdnisone is a type of steroid that was first discovered in the 1950s. Now it's used as an immunosuppressant to treat the symptoms of certain kinds of cancer and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid (levothyroxine) - used to treat hypothyroidism - $12

Levothyroxine helps the body make a hormone that's used to regulate your metabolism. It's used to treat hypothyroidism, a common condition that occurs when a person can't make enough of the thyroid hormones that regulate our bodies.

1. Vicodin, Norco, Xodol (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) - used to treat pain - $14

Vicodin is the most popular drug in the US. It's used to treat pain using the narcotic hydrocodone and acetaminophen (which is also found in Tylenol).

The painkiller is an opioid, which means it's one of a handful of drugs that are often abused as part of the opioid epidemic. Because of opioid addiction, more Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 than any other year in US history.


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