We have compiled a list of the most popular drugs in the United States, based on data from the international research company IMS Health. In the list of 15 items – 14 are generics, i.e., substitutes for expensive branded drugs.
The most popular of the prescription drugs turned out to be the painkiller Vicodin, familiar to fans of the Dr. House series. It contains the narcotic substance hydrocodone and acetaminophen. According to IMS Health, which calculates the sales of various drugs for pharmaceutical companies, Vicodin in the United States in 2009 was discharged 128 million times.
Vicodin, who takes the protagonist of the series “Doctor House” brilliant diagnostician Gregory House performed by Hugh Laurie, for 40 years. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends banning it because it is addictive. People familiar with the show know this fact because House periodically, but rather unsuccessfully, tries to get rid of dependence on this painkiller. As the Journal notes, the particular danger of Vicodin is that patients can quickly begin to increase the dose when they develop immunity to the drug.
In the Forbes list, Vicodin does not appear under the familiar name of the series, but by the name of the main active ingredient, since its cheap generics are no less popular among Americans. Moreover, despite the dangers of addiction, it is not becoming less popular, since there is currently no adequate replacement anesthetic for it.
Of the 15 most popular drugs, only one – Pfizer Lipitor – is a product of a large pharmaceutical brand.
The full list of the most popular drugs:
No. 1 Hydrocodone, acetaminophen (pain reliever)
Number of prescriptions issued in 2009: 128.2 million
Hydrocodone (refers to codeine) is a class of narcotic analgesics. This is an anesthetic drug. Acetaminophen is a weaker anesthetic that enhances the effects of hydrocodone. Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are designed to relieve severe pain. The most popular painkiller in the United States, sold under various names, including known as Vicodin. The medical commission, which the FDA recommended banning this addictive drug, is still considering its decision.
No. 2 Simvastatin (lowering cholesterol)
Number of prescriptions: 83 million
Simvastatin is used in combination with a specific diet to lower cholesterol and fat (triglycerides) in the blood. This remedy is usually used in cases where no drug treatment was not sufficiently effective in reducing cholesterol (for example, diet, weight loss, if overweight). Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. The brand name is Zocor; this drug helped Merck in the 1990s to conquer the pharmaceutical market.
No. 3 Lisinopril (high blood pressure)
The number of prescriptions: 81.3 million
Lisinopril is indicated for the treatment of various types of arterial hypertension, as well as a renovated increase in blood pressure caused by a violation of the kidneys. Sometimes the drug is used in the treatment of heart failure. Another drug company Merck, before the expiration of the patent, was sold under the names of peritiv and Zestril.
No. 4 Levothyroxine sodium (thyroid states)
The number of prescriptions: 66 million
Levothyroxine is the “gold standard” of hypothyroidism replacement therapy. However, in some cases, taking levothyroxine does not lead to the compensation of the disease due to impaired absorption of the drug. Various factors can interfere with the adequate intake of levothyroxine, including primary or secondary lactase deficiency. The use of a lactose-free form of levothyroxine reduces the need for the drug, levels the lability of hormonal parameters and, as a result, significantly improves the quality of life of patients. Deputy thyroid hormones.
No. 5 Azithromycin (antibiotic)
The number of prescriptions: 53.8 million
Azithromycin is one of the most popular antimicrobials available on the market today. It is used to treat various bacterial infections, primarily those associated with the respiratory organs. The drug can be used to treat both adults and children. Actively advertised under the brand name Zithromax.
No. 6 Metformin (diabetes)
The number of prescriptions: 52 million
Metformin was opened in 1922 and was widely used only in the late 90s. Endocrinologists prescribe it for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Also known destination with overweight, obesity, with polycystic ovaries and infertility. The World Health Organization recognized metformin as one of the most effective medicines. And although his popularity is high, the effect of metformin is not fully understood: and today, studies are being conducted that reveal new facets of his “talent.” This and wanted to pay a little attention today. Bristol-Myers Squibb sold this diabetes medicine called Glucophage (Glucophage). It is still considered one of the best drugs for reducing sugar.
No. 7 Lipitor (lower cholesterol)
Number of recipes: 51.5 million
Lipitor (Lipitor) is used along with a specific diet to reduce the level of cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. This remedy is usually used if non-medicinal ways to lower cholesterol (for example, changing diet, weight loss, if overweight) were not successful enough. Lowering cholesterol can help prevent a heart attack. Lipitor is used in adults and children (10 years and older). Young girls had to go through their first menstrual period before taking this drug. This medicine belongs to enzyme blockers, also known as “statin.” Pfizer’s Lipitor cholesterol-lowering drug is the only brand-name drug on the list of the most popular. All others have expired patents. Last year, Lipitor sales amounted to $ 11.4 billion.
No. 8 Amlodipine (pressure reduction)
Number of recipes: 50.9 million
Amlodipine is intended for the treatment of arterial hypertension in adults. It can be used both independently and with other drugs. It is also used in the treatment of angina pectoris and vasospastic angina pectoris. The use of Amlodipine is advisable in those cases when the treatment with nitrates and B-blockers turned out to be ineffective and did not give the desired result. Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension in patients with ischemic heart disease, bronchial asthma, and chronic heart failure.
No. 9 Amoxicillin (antibiotic)
Number of recipes: 49.2 million
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic of the penicillin group. It has a wide range of activity. Destroys germs by acting on the walls of their cells. It is effective against many microorganisms. This medicine is prescribed for infections caused by strains of microbes that are sensitive to this antibiotic:
with diseases of the upper floor of the respiratory tract (including otitis media, sinusitis, pharyngeal abscess, pharyngitis, tonsillitis);
infection of bone, connective tissue;
with diseases of the lower floors of the respiratory tract (including acute bronchitis with bacterial superinfection, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis);
with urinary tract infection;
with infection in gynecology;
with infections of soft tissues, skin, and also wounds from animal bites;
infection of the biliary tract (including cholangitis, cholecystitis);
With odontogenic infection (a spread of disease with damaged teeth). Popular with pediatricians. Millions of children are discharged from ear infections, even though most ear infections are caused not by bacteria, but by viruses.
No. 10 Hydrochlorothiazide (reduced pressure)
Number of recipes: 47.1 million
This drug belongs to the group of diuretics of moderate strength, the thiazide group, used in the treatment of arterial hypertension. The main active ingredient, hydrochlorothiazide, is a sulfonamide derivative, the use of which leads to a decrease in the reabsorption of sodium ions, chlorides, and water in the nephron tubules. Hydrochlorothiazide has the property to influence the way electrolytes are stored inside the renal tubules, also contributing to increased excretion of potassium ions and bicarbonates. Regular intake of this substance causes a decrease in blood pressure.
No. 11 Оmeprazole (heartburn)
Number of recipes: 45.4 million
Omeprazole – a modern drug used to treat people suffering from gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcers, as well as other diseases directly or indirectly associated with increased acidity of gastric juice. Omeprazole has proved itself well and has a reputation as a reliable and effective means for gastroenterologists. Also, the popularity of the drug contributes to its affordability. Prilosec – under this name was selling this purple heartburn pill AstraZeneca in the past the best-selling medicine in the world.
No. 12 Alprazolam (sedative)
Number of recipes: 44.4
Alprazolam belongs to the class of benzodiazepines. Alprazolam acts on unbalanced brain chemicals that can cause anxiety. Alprazolam reduces anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorder. Alprazolam is also used to treat panic disorders. Alprazolam may be used for other purposes not described in this manual. Initially produced by Pfizer under the name Xanax, ahead of Valium in popularity.
No. 13 Furosemide (reduced pressure)
Number of recipes: 42.8 million
It is a diuretic drug that helps to excrete sodium along with plenty of fluids. Furosemide has a pronounced diuretic, natriuretic and chloruretic action. Due to the increased excretion of sodium ions, a secondary (mediated osmotically bound water) enhanced water excretion and an increase in the secretion of potassium ions in the distal part of the renal tubule occurs. In heart failure, furosemide rapidly reduces preload (due to the expansion of the veins), decreases the pressure in the pulmonary artery and the filling pressure of the left ventricle. It was sold under the name Last