Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

With the White House and the FDA dreaming up ways to curb the pain-pill problem in the U.S., we got to wondering just what are the most popular (legal) drugs in the country? Thankfully, the folks at Time.com were thinking about the same thing, because they put together a handy/dandy list of the 10 most-prescribed meds, none of which is Viagra.

Topping that list is everyone’s favorite post-surgery painkiller, Vicodin, or hydrocone with acetaminophen if you’re into generics. According to Time, the drug was prescribed 131.2 million times in 2010, an increase of exactly 3 million from the year before. And we thought Dr. House had cleaned up this season.

Perhaps it was the introduction of the KFC Double Down last year, but 2010 saw a rapid increase in the number of prescription for the second-place drug on the list, Zocor (simvistatin), which is used to treat patients with high cholesterol. The drug was prescribed 94.1 million times last year, an increase of 10.3 million over 2009.

High blood pressure is the most frequent problem treated by the drugs on this top 10 list. ACE inhibitor Prinivil (lisinopril) came in at #3 with 87.4 million prescriptions. Calcium channel blocker Norvasc (amlodipine besylate) took the fifth spot with a respectable 57.2 million prescriptions written last year. And the 47.8 million prescriptions written for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic sold under several brand names, were enough to get the tenth slot.

Antibiotics also scored multiple representatives on the list. Number seven drug Zithromax (azithromycin) was followed by old favorite amoxicillin in the eighth position with 52.6 million and 52.3 million prescriptions written, respectively.

The remaining three slots on the list were taken by: thyroid medication Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium), at #4 with 70.5 million prescriptions; acid reflux fighter Prilosec (omeprazole), at #6 with 53.4 million prescriptions; and diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin), at #9 with 48.3 million prescriptions.

America’s 10 Most Popular Prescription Drugs [Time.com]