Top 10 Most Prescribed Generic Drugs Through September

Troy Brown, RN

November 06, 2014

The narcotic pain medication hydrocodone/acetaminophen was the most prescribed generic medication for the 12 months ending September 30, 2014, followed by the blood pressure medication lisinopril, according to a new report. Research firm IMS Health compiled the list of the top 10 most-prescribed generic medications for the past year.

Hydrocodone/acetaminophen had approximately 123.3 million prescriptions, followed by lisinopril at about 103 million prescriptions, the hypothyroid medication levothyroxine sodium at about 95 million prescriptions, the cholesterol-lowering medication atorvastatin calcium at just under 77 million prescriptions, and the blood pressure-lowering amlodipine besylate at about 76.4 million prescriptions.

The other most prescribed generic drugs in the top 10 are the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin at about 73.5 million prescriptions, the proton pump inhibitor omeprazole (RX) at about 73.2 million prescriptions, the diabetes medication metformin HCL at about 61.2 million prescriptions, the antibiotic amoxicillin at about 53.8 million prescriptions, and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide at about 49.6 million prescriptions.

Top 10 Generics Prescribed

HYCD/APAP 123,365,902
LISINOPRIL 103,090,396
LEVOTHYROXINE SOD 95,170,627
ATORVASTATIN CA 76,987,591
AMLODIPINE BESY 76,404,927
SIMVASTATIN 73,468,752
OMEPRAZOLE (RX) 73,161,061
METFORMIN HCL 61,162,279
AMOXICILLIN 53,807,690
HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE 49,555,088

Source: IMS Health

Top 10 Branded Drugs Prescribed

In contrast, the top five most prescribed branded drugs over the same time period were rosuvastatin (Crestor, AstraZeneca) with about 22.3 million prescriptions, followed by levothyroxine (Synthroid, AbbVie), at about 22.3 million prescriptions; the proton pump inhibitor esomeprazole ( Nexium, AstraZeneca), at about 17.8 million prescriptions; the asthma medications albuterol (Ventolin HFA, GlaxoSmithKline), at about 17.8 million prescriptions; and fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline), at about 14.5 million prescriptions.

The remaining five in the top 10 most prescribed drugs for the period (in order) were the insulin glargine injection (Lantus Solostar, sanofi-aventis), the attention-deficit drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse, Shire), the antiepileptic drug pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer), the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medication tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Handihaler, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), and the antihypertensive drug valsartan (Diovan, Novartis).

CRESTOR 22,279,247
SYNTHROID 22,258,461
NEXIUM 17,763,935
VENTOLIN HFA 17,745,136
ADVAIR DISKUS 14,495,507
LANTUS SOLOSTAR 10,450,322
VYVANSE 10,147,910
LYRICA 9,798,532
SPIRIVA HANDIHALER 9,555,794
DIOVAN 9,470,735

Source: IMS Health

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