Table 100Selected prescription drug classes used in the past 30 days, by sex and age: United States, selected years 1988–1994 through 2005–2008

Updated data when available, Excel, PDF, and standard errors: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2011.htm#100.

[Data are based on a sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population]

Age group and Multum Lexicon Plus therapeutic class 1 (primary indications for use)TotalMaleFemale
1988– 19941999– 20022005– 20081988– 19941999– 20022005– 20081988– 19941999– 20022005– 2008
All agesPercent of population with at least one prescription drug in drug lass in past 30 days
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)1.76.511.41.57.112.01.85.810.8
Analgesics (pain relief)7.29.49.05.47.37.79.011.310.2
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)1.86.48.91.24.45.02.38.312.7
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)3.14.47.32.74.16.83.54.67.6
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*3.86.3*3.45.6*4.26.9
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)2.44.65.92.44.76.32.44.55.6
Sex hormones (contraceptives, menopause, hot flashes). . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .9.915.39.7
Diuretics (high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease)3.44.15.32.33.14.54.45.16.1
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)2.34.05.20.81.51.73.76.38.5
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)2.63.75.22.53.74.82.63.85.5
Bronchodilators (asthma, breathing)2.63.54.92.53.14.52.73.85.2
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized anxiety and related disorders)2.83.34.51.92.63.23.64.05.7
Antihypertensive combinations (high blood pressure)2.42.94.11.41.93.03.33.85.1
Calcium channel blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)3.64.24.03.43.53.63.84.84.4
Antihistamines (allergies)2.74.53.82.24.02.93.24.94.6
Under 18 years
Bronchodilators (asthma, breathing)3.04.05.43.34.46.02.73.64.7
Penicillins (bacterial infections)6.15.13.85.95.23.46.45.04.2
CNS stimulants (attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity)*0.82.93.7*1.24.44.8*1.42.6
Antihistamines (allergies)2.04.42.92.14.93.01.93.92.7
Leukotriene modifiers (asthma, allergies). . .0.72.9. . .*0.93.3. . .**2.4
Upper respiratory combinations (cough and cold, congestion)2.32.31.82.6*2.41.62.0*2.21.9
Respiratory inhalant products (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and related disorders)*0.71.71.8*1.82.4*1.51.3
Adrenal cortical steroids (anti-inflammatory)*0.50.81.6**0.72.1*0.50.91.1
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)*1.81.5*2.2*1.5**1.5*1.6
Analgesics (pain relief)1.21.41.4*1.21.31.01.41.62.0
Cephalosporins (bacterial infections)1.81.21.11.8*1.31.11.81.1*1.2
Macrolide derivatives (bacterial infections)1.01.2*0.9*0.7*1.3*1.1*1.3*1.1*
18–44 years
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)1.66.07.8*1.03.63.62.38.511.9
Analgesics (pain relief)7.28.07.75.16.06.59.19.98.9
Sex hormones (contraceptives, menopause, hot flashes). . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .11.713.715.7
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*2.33.5*2.42.8*2.24.2
Bronchodilators (asthma, breathing)1.42.23.3*1.11.62.3*1.82.84.2
Antihistamines (allergies)2.53.93.21.83.6*1.73.24.24.6
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized anxiety and related disorders)1.42.13.2*1.0*1.72.11.92.54.3
Anticonvulsants (epilepsy, seizure, and related disorders)0.81.62.9*0.61.6*2.01.0*1.53.8
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)1.41.82.8***2.13.04.9
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)*0.41.32.5*2.03.1***2.0
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)*1.01.52.1**1.51.7*1.0*1.62.4
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)0.71.41.9*0.91.51.7*0.6*1.22.0
Penicillins (bacterial infections)3.12.21.82.31.8*1.13.82.72.5
Muscle relaxants (muscle spasm and related disorders)1.01.31.6*1.3*1.1*1.1*0.7*1.42.0
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)1.1*1.21.4*0.9*1.3*1.21.3*1.5
45–64 years
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)4.313.819.64.417.221.24.210.718.0
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)3.510.515.3*2.37.08.54.613.821.9
Analgesics (pain relief)11.916.014.09.213.512.314.318.315.7
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)6.68.711.07.07.810.56.29.511.6
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*7.710.9*6.710.6*8.611.2
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)5.28.810.35.79.811.44.67.99.3
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)5.57.09.45.97.89.55.16.39.3
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)4.76.68.5*1.2*2.7*2.98.110.213.9
Sex hormones (contraceptives, menopause, hot flashes). . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .19.930.311.2
Antihypertensive combinations (high blood pressure)5.35.68.13.3*3.76.37.17.39.7
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized anxiety and related disorders)6.06.27.84.34.96.27.57.49.3
Diuretics (high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease)6.16.66.74.84.86.07.38.37.5
Calcium channel blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)7.06.76.18.25.95.35.97.56.9
Anticonvulsants (epilepsy, seizure, and related disorders)2.74.36.0*2.53.55.02.95.17.0
65 years and over
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)5.923.444.55.324.350.66.422.740.0
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)11.815.932.010.417.534.812.814.829.9
Diuretics (high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease)16.219.224.512.217.124.619.120.724.4
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)9.516.921.09.818.025.19.316.118.1
Analgesics (pain relief)13.818.418.111.415.017.815.620.918.3
Calcium channel blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)16.119.117.114.517.417.317.320.417.0
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*9.717.0*9.216.9*10.117.1
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)9.012.416.09.012.915.99.012.016.1
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)7.114.315.53.56.76.29.819.922.4
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)3.09.314.2*2.37.210.03.510.817.3
Antihypertensive combinations (high blood pressure)9.69.813.26.07.49.612.211.615.8
Angiotensin II inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease). . .4.810.7. . .4.19.7. . .5.311.5
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized anxiety and related disorders)7.87.89.86.15.47.19.19.511.8
Bisphosphonates (osteoporosis and related disorders)*4.08.4****6.513.8
Antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting (prostate conditions) 2. . .. . .. . .2.812.515.9. . .. . .. . .
65–74 years
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)7.326.244.36.226.652.18.125.938.2
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)11.314.829.010.616.032.211.913.926.4
Diuretics (high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease)14.215.921.010.814.619.617.016.922.1
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)9.617.219.510.618.124.28.916.415.8
Analgesics (pain relief)13.018.518.610.514.916.515.021.420.3
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)8.812.917.88.013.818.29.412.017.5
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*9.616.9*8.417.0*10.516.8
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)2.89.315.0*2.35.89.63.112.119.3
Calcium channel blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)15.016.114.014.015.315.515.816.812.9
Antihypertensive combinations (high blood pressure)8.18.013.74.8*6.711.010.89.015.8
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)6.613.113.1*3.8*5.04.38.919.919.9
Angiotensin II inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease). . .4.29.7. . .*3.59.2. . .4.910.1
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized
anxiety and related disorders)6.97.79.46.0*4.26.87.610.511.4
Antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting (prostate conditions) 2. . .. . .. . .*2.613.113.1. . .. . .. . .
Bisphosphonates (osteoporosis and related disorders)**3.17.2*****5.312.5
Anticonvulsants (epilepsy, seizure, and related disorders)3.04.27.1*2.7*3.65.73.2*4.78.2
75 years and over
Antihyperlipidemic agents (high cholesterol)3.819.944.8*3.521.148.74.019.242.0
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)12.517.335.69.819.638.114.115.833.8
Diuretics (high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease)19.223.228.714.720.531.121.924.927.0
ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease)9.316.422.98.517.726.29.815.620.6
Calcium channel blocking agents (high blood pressure, heart disease)17.822.820.815.320.519.619.224.221.6
Thyroid drugs (hyper- and hypothyroidism)8.015.818.53.09.28.710.920.025.2
Analgesics (pain relief)15.118.417.513.015.119.516.320.416.1
Proton pump inhibitors (gastrointestinal reflux, ulcers)*9.917.3*10.216.8*9.817.6
Antidiabetic agents (diabetes)9.311.813.910.711.512.98.512.014.5
Antidepressants (depression and related disorders)3.49.313.3*2.39.210.64.09.415.1
Antihypertensive combinations (high blood pressure)11.912.012.68.3*8.27.814.014.415.9
Antiplatelet agents (blood thinning, reduce or prevent blood clots)4.45.011.7*4.26.714.64.63.99.7
Angiotensin II inhibitors (high blood pressure, heart disease). . .5.411.9. . .*4.910.2. . .5.813.0
Anticoagulants (blood thinning, reduce or prevent blood clots)2.97.210.43.77.614.3*2.46.97.7
Anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (generalized anxiety and related disorders)9.27.910.36.37.17.510.98.412.3
Bisphosphonates (osteoporosis and related disorders)*5.110.0****7.915.4
Minerals and electrolytes mineral deficiencies)7.58.18.45.66.66.88.79.09.6
Antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting (prostate conditions) 2. . .. . .. . .*3.111.719.5. . .. . .. . .
*

Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error (RSE) of 20%–30%. Data not shown have an RSE of greater than 30%.

. . .

Category not applicable.

1

The drug therapeutic class is based on Lexicon Plus, a proprietary database of Cerner Multum, Inc. Lexicon Plus is a comprehensive database of all prescription and some nonprescription drug products available in the U.S. drug market. Data on prescription drug use are collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Respondents were asked if they had taken a prescription drug in the past 30 days. Those who answered “yes” were asked to show the interviewer the medication containers for all prescriptions. If no container was available, the respondent was asked to verbally report the name of the medication. Each drug’s complete name was recorded and classified. Data presented here are based on the second level classification of prescription drugs. Up to four classes are assigned to each drug. Drugs classified into more than one class were counted in each class. For more information, see http://www​.cdc.gov/nchs​/nhanes/nhanes2007-2008/RXQ_DRUG.htm. See Appendix II, Multum Lexicon Plus therapeutic class.

2

Although some antiadrenergic agents are used to treat high blood pressure, they are generally used currently to treat prostate hyperplasia and related conditions.

NOTES: Some drug classes were not available in 1988–1994 and are coded as not applicable. See Appendix II, Drug. Standard errors are available in the spreadsheet version of this table. Available from: http://www​.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. Data for additional years are available. See Appendix III.

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. See Appendix I, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2011
Health, United States, 2011: With Special Feature on Socioeconomic Status and Health.
National Center for Health Statistics (US).
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2012 May.

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