Prescription drugs have become a crucial component of healthcare both in the US and around the world. Health care providers prescribe commonly used drugs to treat a wide range of diseases, whether they are acute infections or chronic illnesses. In recent years, the popularity of generic drugs has surged, as they offer a more affordable alternative to brand-name treatments.
The global economy suffered a major decline of 5.2%, as reported by the World Bank. The downfall had a significant impact on people’s healthcare expenses, forcing them to look for affordable yet effective medications. Consequently, the market for generic drugs saw a sudden growth in size, which turned out to be advantageous for the companies that manufacture these medicines, such as Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, Pfizer Inc., and Cipla Ltd, among others.
1. Lisinopril (Zestril)
Lisinopril is a medication that belongs to the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor group of drugs. Its generic name is Zestril and it is used to treat high blood pressure.
By blocking ACE, lisinopril prevents conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, resulting in inactivity of aldosterone which regulates salt and water levels. This process is known as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
When lisinopril inhibits this system, it decreases blood volume and causes blood vessels to relax, which helps lower blood pressure.
For adults and children six years of age and older with high blood pressure, doctors prescribe lisinopril. If a person has heart failure, they may also take lisinopril in addition to other drugs. Physicians may also recommend the medication to patients who have had a heart attack.
2. Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Statin therapies, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), are commonly prescribed as the primary treatment for high cholesterol.
They function by altering the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Atorvastatin inhibits the liver’s production of cholesterol-producing enzymes.
Atorvastatin is prescribed by doctors in conjunction with a healthy diet for various reasons, which may include:
- decreasing cholesterol in kids aged 10 to 17 who have an inherited kind of high cholesterol
- Lowering triglyceride levels in individuals with elevated triglycerides.
- Reducing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
3. Levothyroxine (Synthroid)
Levothyroxine, also known as Synthroid, is a medication prescribed to individuals with hypothyroidism. This artificial form of thyroxine (T4) replaces the low levels of the hormone that naturally comes from the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine may be prescribed to adults, children, and even newborns by doctors.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of levothyroxine to suppress pituitary thyrotropin in patients with certain forms of thyroid cancer, which helps prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Another statin medication is rivastatin (Zocor). It functions similarly to atorvastatin, and physicians prescribe it for similar purposes.
In comparison to atorvastatin, simvastatin is typically prescribed for nighttime use. However, both drugs have similar drug interactions. Additionally, simvastatin should not be taken with gemfibrozil (Lopid) due to the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a severe muscle disorder.
Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication used to treat diabetes. It is often prescribed as a first-line treatment for those who have recently been diagnosed with the condition. This medication helps to manage diabetes by reducing the amount of sugar that the liver produces, among other ways.
It also reduces the quantity of sugar absorbed by the intestines. Additionally, metformin increases insulin’s sensitivity to blood sugar. The body’s insulin does not work as effectively in diabetics, however metformin helps make it work better.
A proton pump inhibitor is omeprazole, often known as Prilosec. An inhibitor of the proton pump reduces the quantity of acid production by stomach lining cells.
Doctors prescribe omeprazole for various gastrointestinal conditions such as acid reflux and ulcers. It is available both as a prescription drug and an over-the-counter medication in lower doses.
- peptic ulcer disease
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection also prescribe this medicine
Calcium channel blockers are a different class of blood pressure drugs that physicians frequently recommend. These medications aid in lowering blood vessel pressure and relaxing blood vessels.
Doctors use amlodipine to treatTrusted Source:
- high blood pressure
- coronary artery disease when confirmed from an angiography
- chronic stable angina
- vasospastic angina
Beta-blockers are another type of blood pressure drugs. A beta-blocker called metoprolol (Lopressor) is prescribed by physicians to treat:
- high blood pressure
- heart failure
- heart attack
- atrial fibrillation and flutter
The medication functions by inhibiting the heart’s beta receptors. Metoprolol reduces cardiac output, or the volume of blood the heart pumps out. By slowing heart rate, it also aids in lessening cardiac strain.
Acetaminophen and hydrocodone
A common pain medication prescribed by doctors is a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid that blocks the mu-receptors in the body responsible for controlling pain.
However, there is a risk over substance misuse due to the presence of hydrocodone.
After surgery or trauma, doctors may give hydrocodone and paracetamol for moderate to severe pain. With this combo, cancer-related pain sufferers might also find relief.
At times, physicians may recommend a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone to alleviate coughing.
Albuterol, also known as Ventolin, is a medication that comes in a pressurized spray inhaler. The medication is taken via oral inhalation. Its primary function is to alleviate bronchospasm, a condition where the muscles surrounding the airways or bronchi leading to the lungs become constricted, making it hard to take full breaths.
The mechanism of action of albuterol is the activation of beta-2-adrenergic receptors in the lung bronchi. The muscles surrounding the bronchi relax as a result of this activation, allowing the airways to open.
Albuterol inhalers are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat or prevent bronchospasms in adults and children with obstructive airway diseases, such as asthma. Individuals with exercise-induced asthma may use an albuterol pump. For those who cannot use an inhaler, the albuterol solution can be inhaled using a nebulizer device.
The 10 most commonly used drugs in the US are atorvastatin, amlodipine and metformin. These drugs are prescribed for common health conditions.