Top 5 & 25 Psychiatric Medications for 2011

Medications used to treat mental disorders continue to enjoy the best sales they’ve had ever. Meanwhile, psychotherapy usage continues to decline.

We started tracking the top 25 psychiatric medications prescribed in the U.S. back in 2005, with the help of IMS Health and their innovative Xponent service, which tracks the vast majority of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S.

The top 5 are below, while the rest of the list follows.

  1. Xanax (alprazolam) – 47,792,000
  2. Celexa (citalopram) – 37,728,000
  3. Zoloft (sertraline) – 37,208,000
  4. Ativan (lorazepam) – 27,172,000
  5. Prozac (fluoxetine HCL) – 24,507,000

To put the percent changes below into perspective, the U.S. total population rose approximately 1.6 percent from 2009 to 2011. That suggests that anything above 1.6 percent change was driven by other factors — more people seeking treatment, more pharmaceutical advertising and marketing, or some other factor.

The biggest movers and shakers on the list were Celexa — moving up 15 spots to grab the second most-prescribed psychiatric drug in 2011 — and Wellbutrin XL, moving from 22 to 13.

Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — generic amphetamine salts and methylphenidate — enjoyed big gains as well. The rise of generics is not surprising, since once a medication goes off-patent, it becomes cheaper to purchase. Cheaper meds makes them available to more people who can now afford them.

Check out the Top 25 Psychiatric Medication Prescriptions for 2011 now.