Did you know that the top 6 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. account for hundreds of billions of dollars in sales every year? That’s a lot of money!
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these drugs and find out what makes them so popular. This will be from the perspective of one of the top pharmacies in Lexington, SC. We will also discuss some of the most important things to be aware of when it comes to these drugs. So, if you’re curious to know more, keep reading!
1. Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Atorvastatin is the number one prescribed drug in the U.S. It is a statin, a class of drugs that helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. It works by blocking an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol. Atorvastatin can be used to treat both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. It is also used to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
The drug is generally well-tolerated, with the most common side effects being headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and muscle pain. While atorvastatin is not a cure for cardiovascular disease, it can help to reduce the risk of developing serious complications. A common side effect of atorvastatin is muscle pain, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about any muscle discomfort you may experience while taking this medication.
2. Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
Coming in at number two on the list is lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), with over 88 million prescriptions filled in 2020. This drug belongs to a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is primarily used for treating high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It works by blocking the action of a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to tighten, leading to an increase in blood pressure.
Common side effects of lisinopril include dizziness, headache, and cough. It is important to take the medication exactly as prescribed and to not stop taking it without consulting your doctor, as this could lead to a worsening of symptoms.
3. Albuterol (Accuneb, Ventolin, Proair, Proventil)
Albuterol, commonly known by the brand names Accuneb, Ventolin, Proair, and Proventil, is the third most prescribed drug in the U.S., with about 62 million prescriptions filled in 2020. It is a bronchodilator, meaning it helps to open up the airways in the lungs and make it easier to breathe. It is primarily used for treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pharmacies in Lexington, SC may also carry albuterol in a rescue inhaler, to be used during an asthma attack or severe COPD exacerbation.
The most common side effects of albuterol include shakiness, headache, and throat irritation. It is important to talk to your doctor about any chest tightness or breathing difficulties you may experience while taking this medication.
4. Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Unithroid, Levoxyl, Levo-T, Euthyrox)
Coming in at number four on our list is levothyroxine. This medication is used for treating an underactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. It works by providing the body with a synthetic form of thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid gland.
Common side effects of levothyroxine include headache, weight changes, and feeling anxious or irritable. It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed and to have regular thyroid hormone level checks while taking it, as too much or too little can have negative effects on the body.
5. Amlodipine (Norvasc, Amvaz)
Amlodipine, commonly known by the brand names Norvasc and Amvaz, is the fifth most prescribed drug in the U.S. It belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers, and it is used for treating high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). It works by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing for better flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Common side effects of amlodipine include swelling in the hands and feet, headache, and dizziness. It is important to talk to your doctor about any chest pain or irregular heartbeat you may experience while taking this medication.
6. Gabapentin (Neurontin)
Coming in at number six on the list is gabapentin (brand name Neurontin), with over 49 million prescriptions filled in 2020. This medication is used for treating seizures and nerve pain. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
Common side effects of gabapentin include drowsiness and dizziness. It is important to talk to your doctor about any changes in mood or behavior you may experience while taking this medication, as it can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.
These are just a few of the top prescribed drugs in the U.S. It is important to always talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking, as well as any potential side effects and interactions with other medications or substances.
A pharmacy in Lexington, SC like us at My Pharmacy & Optical can help answer any questions you may have about your medications and provide the necessary prescriptions. You’ve probably heard of us before when searching “open pharmacy near me” on Google.
Get in touch today with any questions you have!
Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional before starting any medication.