New study shows nearly 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs

Yesterday, the Mayo Clinic released a study that caused a huge stir throughout every specialty in the medical field.

Mayo Clinic and Olmsted researchers determined that nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. Even more eye-opening? More than half of Americans take at least two, with 20 percent of patients on as many as five or more different prescriptions.

A mind-blowing number of pills

« Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, » says study author Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D., a member of the Mayo Clinic Population Health Program. « 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. »
This is important information for cancer patients and survivors, as well. One of the most important pieces of information a patient can give to his or her doctor is accurate, up-to-date prescriptions, as well as prescription-pill allergies. With the number of prescriptions skyrocketing in recent years, it’s more important than ever to be fully aware of what these pills can do, and what side effects they could potentially bring if combined with new medications.

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