Ten Medical Conditions and the Medications that Treat Them | LowestMed

Are you trying to figure out what medication may best address a certain medical condition? Or wondering what medical condition a certain medication is used for? LowestMed can offer insight. Using data and rankings from our Top 100 drugs filled by consumers in 2016, as well as pharmaceutical and medical data, LowestMed compiled lists of the most commonly prescribed medications for the top ten medical conditions in the United States. We did not include cancer as a medical condition, due to the uniqueness and depth of the disease.

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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Often dubbed “the silent killer” because of its lack of visible symptoms, high blood pressure is a medical condition that affects one in three adults in the United States or close to 76.4 million people. Your blood pressure is determined by the force of blood pushing against your blood vessel walls. If your blood pressure is high, then it means there is a greater force against your artery walls. The increased pressure causes your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body and hardens your arteries. High blood pressure can cause a stroke, kidney disease and heart failure.

Medications are used, alongside certain lifestyle changes (exercise, diet, quitting smoking), to help lower high blood pressure. The most commonly prescribed medications for high blood pressure are:

  • Lisinopril (generic for Prinivil) – ACE inhibitor. ACE inhibitors widen or dilate your blood vessels to increase the amount of blood your heart pumps. This raises blood flow and lowers your heart’s workload
  • Amlodipine (generic for Angina) – Calcium channel blocker. Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. They relax and widen blood vessels while slowing down your heart rate
  • Metoprolol (generic for Lopressor) – Beta blocker. Beta blockers help your heart beat slower and with less force. They also help open up blood vessels to improve blood flow
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (generic for Microzide) – Diuretic. Diuretics increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body as urine. They reduce the amount of fluid in your blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure
  • Carvedilol (generic for Coreg) – Beta blocker
  • Losartan (generic for Cozaar) – Antihypertensive drug
  • Triamterene (generic for Dyrenium) – Diuretic
  • Atenolol (generic for Tenormin) – Beta blocker
  • Valsartan (generic for Diovan) – Antihypertensive drug
  • Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril (generic for Zestoretic) – Diuretic

High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)

High Cholesterol is a medical condition that affects one in eight American adults and is responsible for 2.6 million deaths in the United States each year. Cholesterol is a waxy fat located in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to continue to build cells, however high cholesterol puts you at a greater risk for heart disease. Excess cholesterol builds up in your, arteries causing them to narrow, making it harder for the blood to flow through them. The cholesterol buildup can also lead to blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attack and stroke.

Lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and increased exercise, are paired with certain medications to effectively treat high cholesterol. The most commonly prescribed medications for high cholesterol are:

  • Atorvastatin Calcium (generic for Lipitor) – Statin. Statins block the enzyme that creates cholesterol. They also help to reabsorb the existing cholesterol that has built up as plaque in your arteries and use it to help the body
  • Simvastatin (generic for Zocor) – Statin
  • Fluvastatin (generic for Lescol) – Statin
  • Rosuvastatin (generic for Crestor) – Statin
  • Pravastatin (generic for Pravachol) – Statin
  • Lovastatin (generic for Mevacor, Altoprev) – Statin
  • Pitavastatin (generic for Livalo) – Statin
  • Ezetimibe (generic for Zetia) – Cholesterol Medication
  • Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (generic for Vytorin) – Cholesterol Medication
  • Fenofibrate (generic for Trilipix, Tricor, Triglide, Antara, Lipofen) – Cholesterol Medication


Twenty nine million people in the United States are diagnosed with a type of diabetes. In all types of diabetes, one’s glucose level is too high, because their body’s ability to produce or use insulin is impaired. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not produce insulin. This type of diabetes is most often found in children or teens and accounts for 5-10 percent of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the cells aren’t able to use insulin properly. This type of diabetes is generally diagnosed later in life and accounts for 90-95 percent of people with diabetes.

Blood sugar is controlled through diet, oral medications or insulin. The most common prescription medications for diabetes are:

Type 1 Diabetic Medications

  • Insulin glulisine (generic for Apidra) – Insulin. Insulin helps the body turn glucose into energy and store it in your muscles. This keeps your blood sugar from getting too high or low
  • Insulin detemir (generic for Levemir) – Insulin
  • Insulin aspart (generic for NovoLog) – Insulin
  • Insulin lispro (generic for Humalog) – Insulin
  • Insulin (generic for Humulin, Afrezza, Exubera) – Insulin
  • Insulin glargine (generic for Lantus) – Insulin
  • Glucagon (generic for GlucaGen) – Hormone. Glucagon prevents blood glucose from dropping to a dangerous point. It works with insulin to manage blood sugar levels
  • Glucose tablets – Dietary supplement. Glucose tablets are a simple sugar that work by quickly raising the glucose level in the blood

Type 2 Diabetic Medications

Many of the Type 1 diabetes medications, specifically insulin medications, are also used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Metformin (generic for Glumetza, Glucophage, Fortamet) – Anti-Diabetic. Anti-Diabetic pills work by stimulating your pancreas to produce more insulin. They also help more efficiently manage how glucose is released and absorbed
Glipizide (generic for Glucotrol) – Anti-Diabetic
Acarbose (generic for Precose) -Anti-Diabetic
Glimepiride (generic for Amaryl) – Anti-Diabetic
Saxagliptin (generic for Onglyza) – Anti-Diabetic
Rosiglitazone (generic for Avandia) – Anti-Diabetic
Pioglitazone (generic for Actos) – Anti-Diabetic
Glyburide (generic for DiaBeta, Micronase and Glynase) – Anti-Diabetic
Exenatide (generic for Bydureon and Byetta) – Anti-Diabetic
Sitagliptin (generic for Januvia) – Anti-Diabetic

Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia)

In a given year, 43.8 million Americans will experience some form of mental illness. Mental health is a broad medical condition that includes a variety of different conditions, we will be focusing on depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This may not be a complete list of mental health conditions. Many mental health conditions are closely associated with each other and may even be intertwined. Therefore, some medications may be used for more than one condition.


A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. The most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety are:

  • Alprazolam (generic for Xanax) – Sedative. Sedatives slow the normal brain function by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain. They are used to produce a relaxing effect by reducing irritability and excitement
  • Sertraline (generic for Zoloft) – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs ease depression or anxiety by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. They block the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, increasing the the amount serotonin available
  • Escitalopram (generic for Lexapro) – SSRI
  • Citalopram (generic for Celexa) – SSRI
  • Fluvoxamine (generic for Luvox) – SSRI
  • Fluoxetine (generic for Prozac and Sarafem) – SSRI
  • Paroxetine (generic for Paxil, Pexeva and Brisdelle) – SSRI
  • Lorazepam (generic for Ativan) – Sedative Diazepam (generic for Valium and Diastat) – Sedative
  • Buspirone – Anxiolytic. Anxiolytics work by targeting key messengers in the brain to decrease abnormal excitability


A brain disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. The most commonly prescribed medications for depression are:

  • Duloxetine (generic for Cymbalta) – Antidepressant. Antidepressants work by balancing chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain that affect mood and emotions
  • Trazodone (generic for Oleptro) – Antidepressant
  • Aripiprazole (generic for Abilify) – Antipsychotic. Antipsychotics alter the effects of certain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline and acetylcholine to help balance mood, behavior and emotions
  • Bupropion (generic for Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, Buproban) – Antidepressant
  • Venlafaxine (generic for Effexor) – Antidepressant
  • Mirtazapine (generic for Remeron and Remeronsoltab) – Antidepressant
  • Imipramine (generic for Tofranil) – Antidepressant
  • Selegiline (generic for Emsam, Zelapar and Eldepryl) – Antidepressant
  • Nortriptyline (generic for Pamelor) – Antidepressant
  • Amitriptyline – Antidepressant

The vast majority of medications for anxiety and depression can treat both conditions. Talk to your doctor if you have any specific questions about what medication would best address your symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder

A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. There are two main kinds of bipolar disorder – type I bipolar and type II bipolar. The difference between the two types of bipolar disorder is a person with bipolar I has manic episodes, while someone with bipolar II has hypomanic episodes. The most commonly prescribed medications for bipolar disorders are:

  • Lamotrigine (generic for Lamictal) – Anticonvulsant. Anticonvulsants work by calming hyperactivity in the brain.
  • Quetiapine (generic for Seroquel) – Antipsychotic. Antipsychotic reduce or increase the effect of neurotransmitters in the brain to regulate levels.
  • Risperidone (generic for Risperdal) – Antipsychotic
  • Lithium (generic for Lithane or Lithobid)
  • Valproic Acid (generic for Depakote) – Antipsychotic


A mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to understand what is real. Commonly prescribed medications for schizophrenia are:

  • Clozapine (generic for Clozaril) – Antipsychotic
  • Olanzapine (generic for Zyprexa) – Antipsychotic
  • Risperidone (generic for Risperdal) – Antipsychotic
  • Aripiprazole (generic for Abilify) – Antipsychotic
  • Haloperidol (generic for Haldol) – Antipsychotic

Many medications can be used for either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Check with your doctor to figure out what medication will best address your condition and specific symptoms.

Respiratory Diseases (Asthma and Respiratory Allergies)

Asthma and allergies are two medical conditions that often go hand-in-hand. Many of the 25 million Americans that have asthma also have allergies or allergic asthma. This is a number that continues to grow due to increasingly poor breathing conditions caused by air pollution. Asthma is a respiratory condition in which the airways narrow, swell and produce extra mucus, making it more difficult to breathe. Asthma often results from an allergic reaction or other form of hypersensitivity. Respiratory allergies are most often caused by reactions to pollen, animal dander or hair, dust and mold.


Medications that are commonly prescribed for asthma are:

  • Prednisone (generic for Deltasone) – Steroid. Steroids work by reducing inflammation, swelling and mucus production in the airways of a person with asthma.
  • Fluticasone (generic for Flonase, Veramyst and Cutivate) – Steroid
  • Methylprednisolone (generic for Medrol, Solu-Medrol, A-Methapred) – Steroid
  • Montelukast (generic for Singulair) – Anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory medications are similar to steroids in that they work to reduce inflammation and swelling in a person’s airways.
  • Albuterol (generic for Ventolin) – Bronchodilator. Bronchodilators work by relaxing the muscles in the lungs, allowing the airwaves to widen and make breathing easier.
  • Epinephrine (generic for Epipen) – Blood pressure support and vasoconstrictor
  • Flunisolide (generic for Aerospan) – Steroid
  • Budesonide (generic for Rhinocort, Entocort, Uceris and Pulmicort) – Steroid
  • Mometasone (generic for Nasonex, Elocon and Asmanex) – Steroid
  • Beclomethasone Dipropionate (generic for Qnasl, Qvar and Beconase) – Steroid


Medications that are commonly prescribed for respiratory allergies are:

  • Cetirizine (generic for Zyrtec, Alleroff, Select) – Antihistamine. Antihistamines work by blocking histamines, which cause inflammation, that are released during an allergic reaction.
  • Loratadine (generic for Claritin, Alavert, Fad and Select) – Antihistamine
  • Pseudoephedrine (generic for Sudafed) – Decongestant. Decongestants work by shrinking tissues that have swollen in response to encountering an allergan.
  • Fexofenadine (generic for Allegra, Mucinex and Rugby) – Antihistamine
  • Azelastine (generic for Astepro, Astelin and Optivar) – Antihistamine
  • Levocetirizine (generic for Xyzal) – Antihistamine
  • Desloratadine (generic for Clarinex) – Antihistamine
  • Xylometazoline – Decongestant (no prescription needed)
  • Cromolyn (generic for Nasalcrom, Crolom and Gastrocrom) – Anti-inflammatory
  • Ipratropium (generic for Atrovent) – Bronchodilator

The majority of these medications can be used for both asthma and respiratory allergies. Not all of these medications require a prescription. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out which medication will be most effective for specific condition and symptoms.

Chronic Pain (Arthritis, Back Pain, Nerve Pain)

Close to 40 million people suffer from arthritis, a quarter million of which are children. Arthritis is a medical condition characterized as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. More than 80 percent of Americans will experience some episode of lower back pain in their life. Back pain can be caused by conditions affecting any part of the spine. The commonly prescribed medications to treat chronic pain such as arthritis, back and nerve pain are:

  • Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen (generic for Norco, Vicodin, Lorcet) – Narcotic. Narcotics work by binding opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. They reduce the sending of pain messages to the brain and reduce feelings of pain.
  • Tramadol (generic for Ryzolt, Ultram and ConZip) – Narcotic
  • Cyclobenzaprine (generic for Amrix and Fexmid) – Muscle relaxant. Muscle relaxants work by causing the muscles to become less tense or stiff, which reduces pain.
  • Celecoxib (generic for Celecoxib) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory stop enzymes that speed up the body’s production of hormones that-like substances that irritate nerve endings to cause pain. NSAIDs also help reduce inflammation and prevent blood clotting.
  • Naproxen (generic for Midol, Aleve, Naprelan) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
  • Prednisone (generic for Deltasone) – Steroid. Steroids reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in order to minimize tissue damage.
  • Acetaminophen (generic for Tylenol, Panadol, Anacin) – Analgesic. Analgesic intercept the feeling of pain at the source, altering the production of certain substances in the body that cause the feeling of pain.
  • Oxycodone (generic for Oxycontin, Oxecta and Roxicodone) – Narcotic
  • Gabapentin (generic for Neurontin, Gralise and Horizant) – Nerve Pain Medication
  • Buprenorphine (generic for Buprenex and Btrans) – Narcotic
  • Ibuprofen (generic for Midol, Advil, Motrin) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
  • Meloxicam (generic for Skelaxin) – Muscle relaxant.
  • Aspirin (generic for Ecotrin, Fasprin, Select and Rugby) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
  • Pregabalin (generic for Lyrica) – Nerve Pain Medication
  • Topiramate (generic for Topamax, Qudexy) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory

Not all of these medications require a prescription. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out which medication will be most effective for specific condition and symptoms. This list of medications includes narcotics which have a high risk for addiction and dependence. Only take narcotics under special observation of your doctor or pharmacist. Never double up on narcotic doses, take them longer than needed or share them with others.

Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease/Heartburn)

Is a chronic digestive disease that affects close to seven million Americans. Sixty percent of adults will experience some form of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) within a year, twenty to thirty percent will experience weekly symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus. This stomach acid can cause heartburn if it touches the lining of your stomach. GERD is a more serious and long-lasting form of GER that occurs multiple times a week, or persists over the course of a couple weeks. The commonly prescribed medication for GERD are:

  • Omeprazole (generic for Prilosec) – Proton Pump Inhibitor. PPIs reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid.
  • Pantoprazole (generic for Protonix) – Proton Pump Inhibitor
  • Esomeprazole (generic for Nexium) – Proton Pump Inhibitor
  • Lansoprazole (generic for Prevacid) – Proton Pump Inhibitor
  • Ranitidine (generic for Zantac) – Antacid. Antacid reduce extra stomach acid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion and stomach upset.
  • Famotidine (generic for Pepcid) – Antacid
  • Cimetidine (generic for Tagamet) – Antacid
  • Nizatidine (generic for Axid) – Antacid
  • Aluminum Hydroxide – Antacid (no prescription needed)
  • Calcium Carbonate (generic for Tums, Rolaids, Titralac) – Antacid (no prescription needed)

Certain GERD medications don’t require a prescription at all. Others only require a prescription in specific circumstances. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out if your medication requires a prescription.

Bacterial Infections

A bacterial infection is type of a medical condition that involves any invasion and multiplication of a bacteria, virus or parasite that is not normally present within the body. Some of the most common infection are:

  • Common Cold
  • Flu
  • Strep Throat
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Cellulitis
  • Stomach flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

Commonly prescribed medications to treat bacterial infections are:

  • Amoxicillin (generic for Moxatag) – Antibiotic. Antibiotics work by killing bacteria by interfering with the formation of the bacteria’s cell wall or its cell contents. They also stop bacteria from multiplying.
  • Azithromycin (generic for Zithromax, AzaSite and Zmax) – Antibiotic
  • Cephalexin (generic for Keflex) – Antibiotic
  • Ciprofloxacin (generic for Cipro, Cetraxal, Ciloxan and Proquin) – Antibiotic
  • Clindamycin (generic for Evoclin, ClindaMax, Clindagel) – Antibiotic
  • Levofloxacin (generic for Levaquin, Quixin, Iquix) – Antibiotic
  • Cefdinir – Antibiotic
  • Penicillin – Antibiotic
  • Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (generic for Bactrim and Sulfatrim) – Antibiotic
  • Doxycycline (generic for Oracea, Monodox, Vibra-Tabs) – Antibiotic

Cold and Flu

Every year people in the United States suffer one billion cases of a cold. Additionally up to 20% of the U.S. population will get the flu. The common cold and seasonal flu are both caused by viruses. A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. Typically, cold symptoms can affect someone for a few days, while flu symptoms can last for weeks. The flu can result in serious health problems such as pneumonia. Many of the antibiotics used for bacterial infections can also be used for cold and flu symptoms.Commonly prescribed medications to treat the cold and flu are:

  • Valacyclovir – Antiviral. Antiviral drugs don’t destroy the virus, instead they work to stop their development.
  • Oseltamivir (generic for Tamiflu) – Antiviral
  • Zanamivir (generic for Relenza) – Antiviral
  • Peramivir (generic for Rapivab) – Antiviral
  • Benzonatate (generic for Tessalon, Zonatuss) – Cough Medicine. Cough medicine relieves a cough by blocking the cough reflex.
  • Cheratussin – Cough Medicine
  • Guaifenesin (generic for Robitussin, Mucinex, Liqufruta) – Cough Medicine
  • Dextromethorphan (generic for Robitussin, Zicam, Silphen) – Cough Medicine
  • Acetaminophen – Analgesic
  • Pseudoephedrine (generic for Suphedrine, Sudafed, Wal-Phed) – Decongestant

Other Commonly Prescribed Medications

There isn’t one medical condition that unifies this next list of drugs. However they are all commonly prescribed medications for their specific medical conditions.

  • Zolpidem (generic for Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo) – Sedative. Used to treat insomnia.
  • Temazepam (generic for Restoril) – Sedative
  • Eszopiclone (generic for Lunesta) – Sedative
  • Sildenafil (generic for Viagra) – Vasodilator. Used to treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Tadalafil (generic for Cialis) – Vasodilator
  • Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine (generic for Adderall) – Stimulant. Used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.
  • Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid, Tirosint, Levoxyl) – Hormone. Used to treat an enlarged thyroid gland and thyroid cancer.
  • Finasteride (generic for Proscar, Propecia) – Urinary retention medication. Used to treat enlarged prostate, as well as hair loss.
  • Phentermine (generic for Adipex-P, Suprenza) – Anorectic. Used to promote weight loss.
  • Estradiol (generic for Delestrogen, Elestrin, EstroGel) – Hormone. Used to treat symptoms caused by menopause. It can also treat prostate and breast cancer, and prevent osteoporosis.


These lists do not represent every drug that may be prescribed for a certain medical condition. Some medications can be used across medical conditions or with another medication. If you have been diagnosed with one of these medical conditions talk to your doctor or pharmacist to decide which medication would most effectively address your symptoms. To find a medication at the most affordable price use LowestMed’s search tool or download the LowestMed app. LowestMed also offers discount coupons that can be used to help you save when paying for prescription medications.

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