No question psychiatric drugs are widely used, but Forbes quantifies that today--and tells us just which drugs ride the highest. Psych drugs were prescribed 250 million times last year, according to IMS Health stats, with 169 million of those scrips for antidepressants.
But it's not an antidepressant that tops the list of psych meds. That honor belongs to Xanax, the antianxiety pill. Sleep drug Ambien, the standby of insomniacs and time-zone-hopping business travelers, comes in at number 2. Antidepressents first show up at number three, and that's Lexapro. Zoloft's at number 7, Cymbalta at number 8, and Effexor at number 10.
Forbes doesn't just give us the rank and numbers. It makes the point that psychiatric meds have become cultural phenomena, appearing on bookshelves and in pop songs. And it notes the many problems that have arisen as psychotropic meds have grown in popularity, including safety troubles, marketing infractions, and lawsuits.
- read the Forbes article