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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prescription Drugs In America

Pharmacy Rx symbol used on prescriptions
There is no question, prescription drugs save lives, but they also have the potential to take them as well. More people are taking prescription drugs than ever; with almost 70 percent of Americans taking at least one prescription medication and more than half taking at least two, according to a new study at the Mayo Clinic. One-fifth of Americans are taking five or more prescription drugs, CBS Atlanta reports.

Antibiotics, antidepressants and opioid painkillers are the most commonly prescribed medications. Overall, women and older adults receive the most prescription medications.

“Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes,” lead researcher Jennifer St. Sauver said in a news release. “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.”

13 percent of the American populace has a prescription for an opioid. The study showed that opioids and antidepressants were most common among young and middle-aged adults.  

The findings appear in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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