Health

Study: 70 Percent of Americans Taking Prescription Medication

| by Michael Allen
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A new study by the Mayo Clinic has found that almost 70 percent of Americans are taking at least one prescription medication, 50 percent are on at least two and 20 percent are on five or more.

The most popular prescriptions, according to the study, are opioid painkillers (Vicodin), antibiotics and antidepressants.

Of those, 13 percent of Americans use antidepressants, 17 are on antibiotics, and 13 percent are taking opioid painkillers, reports CBS Atlanta.

According to the Mayo Clinic study, Americans spent a whopping $250 billion in 2009, which was 12 percent of their total health care budget.

The people who use the most prescription drugs are women and seniors.

“Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes,” Dr. St. Sauver, of the Mayo Clinic, said in press 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.”

Sources: MayoClinic.org and CBS Atlanta