Washington’s most-prescribed drug isn’t an opioid

The most frequently prescribed medication in the U.S. – and in Washington – is a drug to treat thyroid deficiencies.

But the second-most common drug prescribed across the country? An opioid pain medication.

New data from GoodRx, an online prescription service, shows that levothyroxine is the most frequently prescribed medication in 26 states, including Washington and Oregon.

More than 120 million prescriptions for the drug – with the brand name Synthroid – are written every year in the U.S. The drug is a replacement hormone when the body can’t make enough thyroid hormone, according to the GoodRx report.



The second most frequently prescribed medication in the U.S. is hydrocodone/acetaminophen. Despite growing concern about the opioid epidemic, Norco and Vicodin are still the most prescribed drug in 10 states, according to the report.

A cholesterol drug – atorvastatin (Lipitor) – and a drug to treat high blood pressure – lisinopril (Prinivil and Zestril) are the next most commonly prescribed drugs. They’re the top drugs in five states each.

Adderall is the most-prescribed medication in two states: Delaware and South Carolina. Naloxone (Suboxone) is the most frequently prescribed drug in Tennesee.

Following levothyroxine, the most frequently prescribed medication in Washington are lisinopril, atorvastatin, hydrocodone/acetaminophen and amlodipine (another drug for treating high blood pressure).

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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