These are the top 25 psychiatric medications by number of U.S. prescriptions dispensed in 2011, according to IMS Health. I’ve also provided their 2009 and 2005 ranking (you can view the 2009 list here).
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.
| Brand name|
|Used for…||U.S. Prescriptions (% change from 2009)|
|Depression, Anxiety|| 37,728,000|
|Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, PMDD|| 37,208,000|
|Anxiety, panic disorder|| 27,172,000|
|Depression, Anxiety|| 24,507,000|
|Depression, Anxiety|| 23,707,000|
|Depression, Anxiety|| 22,591,000|
|Depression, Anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy|| 17,770,000|
|Anxiety, Panic disorder|| 14,694,000|
|Bipolar disorder, Depression|| 14,213,000|
|Depression, Anxiety, Panic disorder|| 13,990,000|
|12.||9.||6.|| Effexor XR|
(venlafaxine HCL ER)
|Depression, Anxiety, Panic disorder|| 12,469,000|
(NA for HCL ER)
|13.||22.||10.|| Wellbutrin XL|
(bupropion HCL XL)
|Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, irritability in autism|| 12,092,000|
|15.||11.||NA|| Amphetamine salts|
|Attention deficit disorder|| 9,682,000|
|Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression|| 8,881,000|
|Attention deficit disorder|| 8,467,000|
|18.||NA||NA|| Wellbutrin SR|
(bupropion HCL SR)
|Anxiety, tension|| 7,268,000|
|20.||NA||NA|| Amphetamine salts ER|
|Attention deficit disorder|| 6,499,000|
|Sleep, Anxiety|| 6,334,000|
|Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia|| 4,576,000|
|Attention deficit disorder|| 4,328,000|
|Attention deficit disorder|| 4,248,000|
If no percentage change is listed, we did not track it in 2005.
NA – Rank not available for this year.
* – This is not a psychiatric medication, but is often prescribed for a mental health issue.
How This Data is Derived
Information in the National Prescription Audit (NPA) is derived from IMS Health’s Xponent service, one of the most complete, national-level prescription databases in the U.S. Xponent captures roughly 70% Market Share of all prescriptions in the U.S. IMS then uses a patented projection methodology from a stratified and geographically balanced sample to represent 100% Market Share coverage of U.S. prescription activity at retail, mail service, long-term care, and managed care outlets.