What are the most commonly prescribed drugs? Most pharmacists would probably be able to make a pretty good educated guess. Here are the actual rankings – the top 20 and the actual number of prescriptions for them.
The most commonly prescribed medication is levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone medication used to treat hypothyroidism. It is marketed under the brand name Synthroid, among others. The most recent statistics show that on an annual basis more than 114,000,000 prescriptions are written for the drug. This is up one spot from the previous year.
Number two on the list is lisinopril, an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. Annually, physicians prescribed the drug 110,000,000 times. This drug is marketed under the brand names Zestril, Prinivil and Qbrelis. Lisinopril is down one spot from the previous year.
Atorvastatin, a reductase inhibitor marketed under the brand name Lipitor, is the third most commonly prescribed drug, with about 97,000,000 prescriptions annually. There is no change in the rank for atorvastatin.
At number four is metformin hydrochloride, an antidiabetic medication, prescribed about 81,000,000 times annually. Brand names for this drug include Glumetza and Glucophage. Also, no change here from the previous year.
The fifth most commonly prescribed drug is amlodipine besylate, used for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is marketed under the brand name Norvasc and is prescribed about 75,000,000 times each year. Norvasc is up two spots from the previous year.
The beta blocker metoprolol comes in at number six on the most commonly prescribed drugs list. Marketed under the brand names Toprol XL and Lopressor, it is prescribed about 74,000,000 times each year. Metoprolol is also up two notches.
The seventh most prescribed drug is omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor used to treat GERD and heartburn. It is prescribed more than 70,000,000 times annually and is marketed under the brand names Prilosec and Zegerid. This medication is down one spot in the ranking from the previous year.
At number eight on the list is simvastatin, with more than 65,000,000 prescriptions annually. This statin is used to treat high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It is marketed under the trade name Zocor and Flolipid. Simvastatin is down three spots in the ranking.
Losartan potassium is ninth on the most commonly prescribed drug list, prescribed almost 50,000,000 times annually. It is an angiotensin II receptor blocker used to treat high blood pressure. Marketed under the brand name Cozaar, it is up three spots on the list.
Tenth on the list is albuterol, a bronchodilator prescribed about 47,000,000 times annually. It is used to treat difficulty breathing caused by lung diseases. It is unchanged in the ranking from the previous year.
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