The 10 most popular prescription drugs in the US

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Flickr/B Rosen

Dozens of prescription drugs have become household names. But which ones are in the most medicine cabinets around the country?

GoodRx, a startup that lists drug prices and sells prescription drugs at discounted rates, compiled a list of the 10 most popular prescription drugs in the US. The company compiles the data by looking at claims that are reported by pharmacies.

All of the drugs cost less than $15 for a month’s prescription and are also available as generics.


10. Norvasc (amlodipine) – used to treat high blood pressure – $7

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Wikimedia Commons

Norvasc is a calcium channel blocker that’s used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. It’s included on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.


9. Xanax, Niravam (alprazolam) – used to treat anxiety – $8

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Flickr/johnofhammond

Best-known by its branded name Xanax, alprazolam is a drug that’s approved used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, which are very common conditions.


8. Lipitor (atorvastatin) – used to treat high cholesterol – $12

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Wikimedia Commons

Lipitor was the only cholesterol-reducing statin to make the list, though statins are among the most popular and best-selling in the US.


7. Glucophage (metformin) – used to treat diabetes – $5

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Wikimedia Commons

Metformin is a type 2 diabetes medication that’s used to regulate blood sugar levels by cutting back on glucose production in the liver.


6. Neurontin (gabapentin) – used to treat seizures and nerve pain – $11

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(Not actually gabapentin).
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Darren Staples / Reuters

Gabapentin is used to treat seizures and neuropathic pain. It’s often used to treat the nerve pain associated with shingles.


5. Amoxil (amoxicillin) – used to treat infections – $9

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By Maksym Kozlenko – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic that’s been around since the 1970s. It’s used to treat common bacterial infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. It’s on the WHO’s list of essential medicines.


4. Prinivil, Zestril (lisinopril) – used to treat hypertension – $7

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Wikimedia Commons

Lisinopril is type of drug called an ACE inhibitor that’s used to treat heart conditions including hypertension and congestive heart failure.


3. Delasone, Sterapred (prednisone) – used to treat arthritis – $5

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Flickr/John Vetterli

Presdnisone is a type of steroid that was first discovered in the 1950s. Now, it’s used as an immunosuppressant to treat the symptoms of certain kinds of cancer, autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.


2. Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid (levothyroxine) – used to treat hypothyroidism – $12

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Flickr/Andy Melton

Levothyroxine helps the body make a hormone that’s used to regulate your metabolism. It’s used to treat hypothyroidism, a common condition that occurs when a person can’t make enough of these thyroid hormones that regulate our bodies.


1. Vicodin, Norco, Xodol (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) – used to treat pain – $14

Vicodin is used to treat pain using the narcotic hydrocodone and acetaminophin(which is also found in Tylenol), is the most popular drug in the US. The painkiller is an opioid, which means it’s one of a handful of drugs that are often abused as part of a growing opioid epidemic.