Top 10 Prescription Drugs in the U.S.

Medically Reviewed on 10/8/2021

Medications are prescribed abundantly throughout the United States every day. Just go into any pharmacy and you can see how busy they are as they fill prescriptions as fast as they can. Here's a list of the top ten prescribed drugs in the U.S. How many of these do are you taking?

1. Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)

Vicodin is a popular drug for treating acute or chronic moderate to moderately severe pain.

2. Albuterol (Accuneb, Ventolin, Proair, Proventil)

Albuterol sulphate dilates the airways of the lung and is used for treating asthma and other conditions of the lung. Albuterol sulphate inhalation solution is used for the treatment of bronchospasm in patients 2 to 12 years of age with asthma (reversible obstructive airway disease).

3. Lisinopril (Generic for Prinivil or Zestril)

Lisinopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used for treating high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and for preventing kidney failure caused by high blood pressure and diabetes.

4. Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid)

Levothyroxine is a man-made version of thyroid hormone. It is used for treating hypothyroidism.

5. Gabapentin (Neurontin)

Gabapentin is an anti-seizure (anti-convulsant) drug that is used for preventing seizures and for treating post-herpetic neuralgia, the pain that follows an episode of shingles.

6. Metformin (generic for Glucophage)

Metformin is used alone or in combination with other drugs for treating type 2 diabetes in adults and children. 

7. Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Lipitor is a "statin" (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) approved for treating high cholesterol. It also prevents chest pain, stroke, heart attack in individuals with coronary artery disease.

8. Amlodipine (generic for Norvasc)

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker used for treating high blood pressure and for treatment and prevention of chest pain.

9. Omeprazole (Prilosec)

Omeprazole is in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) that block the production of acid by the stomach.

  • Omeprazole like other PPIs is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:

10. Losartan (Cozaar)

Losartan is an oral medication that belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).  Losartan is used for treating hypertension, reducing the risk of stroke in patients with hypertension, and left ventricular hypertrophy (overdeveloped heart muscle), and treating people with type 2 diabetes, and hypertensive patients with diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease).

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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE: Food and Drug Administration.