Series Introduction: The Top 10 Prescribed Medications
And how lifestyle measures can help too
Diet, Exercise, Sleep and Stress Management
Pharmaceutical companies spent $4.5 Billion US dollars on advertisements last year (that's $4500 million). Pharmaceutical companies have been spending billions on advertising for decades because it works to sell drugs. Despite lists of adverse side effects read out quickly in a monotone voice, these advertisements work because Americans are taking more and more medications. Some of my clients don't even know why they're taking their medications, nor are lifestyle approaches discussed beyond "move more and eat less".
Over a decade of practice, I have seen pharmaceuticals both save people and harm people. Pharmaceuticals save lives, but their misuse also makes the top 10 leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Vicodin, an opiate, is the #1 prescribed drug in America.
Pharmaceuticals are overused in the United States. Given that assertion, I thought I'd write up a series highlighting the top 10 prescribed medications, what they treat, and what I recommend fundamentally to help fix the problem. Lifestyle measures discussed are diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, considered the fundamentals of health. At times, I mention herbs and other remedies, but only those treatments I consider to be as safe as recommending a food, like apples, since food is part of a fundamental.
Fundamentals of health are safe, effective, and can be applied to any treatment plan with or without medication(s). Fundamentals of health can sometimes be the only treatment necessary for the diseases treated by the top 10 pharmaceuticals.
The top selling medications in the United States and their corresponding diseases are as follows: (www.medicinenet.com, 10/18/2021)
Vicodin (Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen) - Pain
Albuterol (Accuneb, Ventolin, Proair, Proventil) - Asthma
Lisinopril (Generic for Prinivil or Zestril) - High blood pressure/Hypertension
Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid) - Hypothyroidism
Gabapentin (Neurontin) - non-specific pain, nerve pain, convulsions/seizures
Metformin (generic for Glucophage) - Type 2 Diabetes, PCOS, anti-aging
Lipitor (atorvastatin) - High cholesterol
Amlodipine (generic for Norvasc) - High blood pressure/Hypertension
Omeprazole (Prilosec) - GERD/reflux, Ulcer, Gastritis
Losartan (Cozaar) - High blood pressure/Hypertension
I will write separate articles breaking down the lifestyle measures you can take when faced with these diseases. To be clear, I am not anti-medication. There are just other medicines, specifically lifestyle medicine, which can help you eventually stop taking these medications safely. I hope to describe ways to take your health in your own hands, even in the face of scary diagnoses.