Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one
prescription drug, and more than half take two, Mayo Clinic researchers
Antibiotics, antidepressants and painkilling opioids are most
commonly prescribed, their study found. Twenty percent of patients are
on five or more prescription medications, according to the findings,
published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Researchers find the data valuable because it gives insight into prescribing practices. The statistics from the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minn. are comparable to those elsewhere in the United States, says study author Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D., a member of the Mayo Clinic Population Health Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.
“Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes,”
Dr. St. Sauver says. “However, the second most common prescription was
for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is
something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs were
opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting nature.”
Seventeen percent of those studied were prescribed antibiotics, 13
percent were taking antidepressants and 13 percent were on opioids.
Drugs to control high blood pressure came in fourth (11 percent) and vaccines were
fifth (11 percent). Drugs were prescribed to both men and women across
all age groups, except high blood pressure drugs, which were seldom used
before age 30…