Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and researchers believe this number will only increase in the future, according to CBS Atlanta reports.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic report that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids are the most common prescriptions given to Americans. More than half of Americans receive at least two prescriptions, while twenty percent of U.S. patients were found to be on five or more prescription medications.
As a whole, women and older adults received the most prescription drugs, while antidepressants and opioids were most common among young and middle-aged adults.
"Often when people talk about health conditions they're talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes," Dr. St. Sauver stated in a Mayo Clinic press release. "However, the second most common prescription was for antidepressants -- that suggest 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."
Expenditures on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Read the full details here:
Given the number of prescription medications that Americans are taking, doctors and their patients must be on the lookout for polypharmacy issues such as drug-drug interactions, drug dependency/addiction and abuse. Do not hesitate to raise these concerns with a prescribing physician if you believe they might be a concern for you or a loved one.
If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medication error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.