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Odds Are, You're On Prescription Drugs

Study says 70% of Americans are
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2013 1:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Statistically, there's probably something in your medicine cabinet you had to see a doctor to get. Almost 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and 20% are on five or more, according to a new study from the Mayo Clinic. This represents a fairly recent explosion; the larger number was just 44% in 1999-2000, and 48% as recently as 2007-2008, CBS Atlanta reports.

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Antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkillers were the three most common prescriptions, in that order. "Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions," one doctor said in the Mayo Clinic's statement, but antidepressants' high rank "suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on." Almost 25% of women and 13% of the overall population are on antidepressants. The prevalence of painkillers is also "a bit concerning," the doctor said, "considering their addicting nature." (Read more prescription drugs stories.)

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