Almost 70 Percent of Americans Take at Least One Prescription Medication, Study Finds

Almost 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication, and more than half take at least two, according to a new study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. The most common prescriptions are for antibiotics, antidepressants and opioid painkillers.

One-fifth of Americans are taking five or more prescription drugs, CBS Atlanta reports.

“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.”

The study found 13 percent of the population has a prescription for opioids. Women and older adults received the most prescription medications overall. Opioids and antidepressants were most common among young and middle-aged adults, the study found.

The findings appear in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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