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The Top 200 Drugs for 2023 - What You Need to Know

Pharmacology is a complex and ever-evolving field, with new medications continually being developed and approved. However, there is a core group of drugs that are most commonly used and prescribed. This article will introduce the top 200 drugs for 2023, their uses, potential side effects, and other crucial information.

The Value of Knowing the Top 200 Drugs

Knowing the top 200 drugs is not only beneficial for healthcare professionals such as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians but also for patients. Being knowledgeable about the medications that are most commonly used can help improve patient care, avoid potential drug interactions, and enhance overall health outcomes.

How are the Top 200 Drugs Determined?

The top 200 drugs list is typically based on the number of prescriptions dispensed. This list changes year by year as new drugs enter the market, and the use of certain medications becomes more or less prevalent.

What Information is Available for Each Drug?

A comprehensive resource for the top 200 drugs of 2023 provides a wealth of information for each medication. This can include the brand and generic name, phonetic pronunciation, prescription sales ranking, available dosage forms & strengths, pharmacological class, approved uses, and mechanism of action. Also, information about normal adult doses, high-risk drugs, narrow therapeutic drugs, hazardous drugs, and much more is available.

The information also includes detailed data on specific issues like whether the drug can be broken or crushed, contraindications to use, and any black box warnings. This information is crucial for healthcare professionals and patients alike to ensure safe and effective use of these medications.

Stay Updated with the Top 200 Drugs for 2023

Pharmacology is a rapidly changing field, and staying up-to-date with the most frequently used and prescribed medications is crucial for both healthcare professionals and patients. By familiarizing ourselves with the top 200 drugs for 2023, we can be better prepared to handle the challenges and opportunities that this year will bring in the world of pharmacology.

Memorizing the top 200 brand and generic drugs may seem like a herculean task. Numerous medicines contain multiple active ingredients, and for each drug, there's a wide range of brand medicines. This can make the learning journey appear exhausting and extensive.

However, the multiple-choice question (MCQ) format of the PTCB exam can be to your advantage.

You'll find that many medicines share similarities in their names or in the diseases or conditions they're designed to treat. Once you start recognizing these commonalities, it will become much simpler to pair them up during your exam.

Here are some examples:

  • Medicine: Clozaril; active ingredient: clozapine; used as an antipsychotic drug.
  • Medicine: Glucophage; active ingredient: metformin; an antidiabetic drug. The name Glucophage is derived from “glucose” and “phage” – the Greek term for “eater”.
  • Medicine: Diflucan; active ingredient: fluconazole; an antifungal drug.
  • Medicine: Haldol; active ingredient: haloperidol; an antipsychotic drug.
  • Medicine: Ventolin; active ingredient: albuterol; a beta-2 agonist for asthma treatment. The name recalls "hyperventilation", or rapid breathing.

However, not all medicines have such apparent links. For these, it's crucial to commit to memory the drugs with evident connections between the medicine and the name. Once these are ingrained in your memory, you'll be able to quickly pick them out from the four MCQ options during your exam.

After this, you can then dedicate more time to the more challenging ones. This is where flashcards prove their worth. At PTCB Test Prep, we've compiled hundreds of flashcards to aid you in memorizing these medicines – specifying the top medicines, indications, side effects, and mechanisms of action. Well-constructed flashcards are an effective tool for learning the top 200 brand and generic drugs.

The key lies in repetition and continuous exposure to the names of medicines and drugs. Over time, these names will become second nature. If you're unable to find a connection between a medicine name and a drug, create a memorable one – even if it may sound unusual.

Indeed, the more peculiar the link, the more memorable it becomes.

For instance: vardenafil, the active ingredient of Levitra, doesn't have any obvious connections. But we can fabricate one. We can take the prefix, LEVIT-, and convert it into levitate, implying rising. Given that vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction, the concept of rising or levitating fits perfectly. Now, whenever Levitra comes to mind, we'll recall levitate/rise and its clear link to erectile dysfunction!

Now, let's shift our focus to some of the top 200 brand and generic drugs – each explained with all active ingredients and the drug class each active ingredient belongs to.Let's dive into the Top 200 Brand and Generic Drugs!

Levothyroxine (Synthroid): This is a synthetic form of thyroxine, a hormone that's normally produced by your thyroid gland. It is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It can also be used to treat or prevent goiter.

  1. Hydrocodone/APAP (Vicodin): This is a combination of an opioid (hydrocodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction.
  2. Amoxicillin (Amoxil): This is an antibiotic that's used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
  3. Lisinopril (Prinivil): This is an antihypertensive medication, specifically an ACE inhibitor. It is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, and to improve survival after a heart attack.
  4. Esomeprazole (Nexium): This is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It's used to treat conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
  5. Atorvastatin (Lipitor): This is a statin medication used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.
  6. Simvastatin (Zocor): This is another statin medication used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart complications.
  7. Clopidogrel (Plavix): This is an antiplatelet medication. It helps prevent blood clots in people who have had a recent heart attack or stroke, and in those with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels.
  8. Montelukast (Singulair): This is a leukotriene receptor antagonist used for the maintenance treatment of asthma and to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies.
  9. Rosuvastatin (Crestor): Another statin, rosuvastatin is used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications.
  10. Metoprolol (Lopressor): This is a beta-blocker that is used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), and heart failure. It can also be used after a heart attack to improve survival
  11. .Escitalopram (Lexapro): This is an antidepressant belonging to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
  12. Azithromycin (Zithromax): This is an antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
  13. Albuterol (ProAir HFA): This is a bronchodilator used to prevent and treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  14. Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ): This is a diuretic (water pill)
  15. Metformin (Glucophage): This is an antidiabetic medication used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to restore the body's proper response to the insulin it naturally produces, and by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver produces and the intestines or stomach absorb.
  16. Sertraline (Zoloft): This is an antidepressant belonging to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  17. Ibuprofen (Advil): This is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is used to relieve pain from various conditions such as headache, dental pain, menstrual cramps, muscle aches, or arthritis. It is also used to reduce fever and to relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu.
  18. Zolpidem (Ambien): This is a sedative-hypnotic used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. It helps you fall asleep faster so you can get a better night's rest. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
  19. Furosemide (Lasix): This is a diuretic (water pill) that is used to treat fluid retention (edema) and swelling that is caused by congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease, or other medical conditions. It works by making the kidneys pass more fluid (as urine), which helps to reduce swelling.
  20. Omeprazole (Prilosec): This is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. It's commonly used to treat conditions such as heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and stomach ulcers.
  21. Trazodone (Desyrel): This is an antidepressant that's primarily used to treat major depressive disorder. It can also be used off-label for the treatment of insomnia due to its sedating effects.
  22. Valsartan (Diovan): This is an antihypertensive medication, specifically an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. It is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, and to improve survival after a heart attack.
  23. Tramadol (Ultram): This is an opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain. It works by altering the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction.
  24. Duloxetine (Cymbalta): This is an antidepressant that is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It's used to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
  25. Warfarin (Coumadin): This is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that is used to prevent or treat blood clots in veins or arteries, which can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions.
  26. Amlodipine (Norvasc): This is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). It works by relaxing blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily.
  27. Oxycodone/APAP (Percocet): This is a combination of an opioid (oxycodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction.
  28. Quetiapine (Seroquel): This is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and as an add-on treatment for depression.
  29. Promethazine (Phenergan): This is an antihistamine that is used to relieve allergy symptoms, nausea and vomiting, aid in sleep, and help with some symptoms of the common cold or flu.
  30. Fluticasone (Flonase): This is a corticosteroid used to relieve seasonal and year-round allergic and non-allergic nasal symptoms, such as stuffy/runny nose, itching, and sneezing.
  31. Alprazolam (Xanax): This is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA). It is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
  32. Clonazepam (Klonopin): This is another benzodiazepine used to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to treat panic attacks. Clonazepam works by calming your brain and nerves. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
  33. Benazepril (Lotensin): This is an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
  34. Meloxicam (Mobic): This is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat arthritis. It reduces pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints.
  35. Citalopram (Celexa): This is an antidepressant belonging to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression by improving your energy level and feelings of well-being and decreasing nervousness.
  36. Cephalexin (Keflex): This is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
  37. Tiotropium (Spiriva): It's used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It's also used as a maintenance treatment for asthma in adults and children 6 years and older​1​.
  38. Gabapentin (Neurontin): It's used to prevent and control partial seizures in adults and children age 3 and older. It's also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles in adults​2​.
  39. Aripiprazole (Abilify): It treats schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and Tourette disorder. It's also used with antidepressant medications to treat depression. It works by balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain​3​.
  40. Potassium (K-Tab): This medication is a mineral supplement used to treat or prevent low amounts of potassium in the blood​4​.
  41. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril): It's used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries​5​.
  42. Methylprednisolone (Medrol): It's used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, gland (endocrine) disorders, and conditions that affect the skin, eyes, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells​6​.
  43. Methylphenidate (Concerta): It's used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy​7​.
  44. Fexofenadine (Allegra): This antihistamine is used to treat allergy symptoms (including hay fever) in adults and children. It's also used to treat skin itching and hives caused by a condition called chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children who are at least 6 years old​8​.
  45. Carvedilol (Coreg): It's used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It's also used after a heart attack to improve the chance of survival if your heart is not pumping well​9​.
  46. Diazepam (Valium): Used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and is sometimes used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures​1​.
  47. Oxycodone (OxyContin): Used to relieve severe pain, requiring opioid treatment when other pain medicines did not work well enough or cannot be tolerated​2​.
  48. Risedronate (Actonel): Used to treat osteoporosis caused by menopause, or steroid use, and is for use when there is a high risk of bone fracture due to osteoporosis. It's also used to treat Paget's disease of bone​3​.
  49. Folic Acid (Folvite): Used to treat folic acid deficiency and certain types of anemia (lack of red blood cells) caused by folic acid deficiency. It helps the body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer​4​.
  50. Olmesartan (Benicar): Used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children at least 6 years old. It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications​5​.
  51. Amoxicillin: A penicillin antibiotic used to treat many different types of infection caused by bacteria, such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and infections of the ear, nose, throat, skin, or urinary tract​6​.
  52. Diazepam (Valium): Diazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and it is sometimes used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures​1​.
  53. Oxycodone (OxyContin): Oxycodone is used to relieve pain severe enough to require opioid treatment and when other pain medicines did not work well enough or cannot be tolerated​2​.
  54. Risedronate (Actonel): Risedronate is used to treat osteoporosis caused by menopause, or steroid use. This medicine is for use when you have a high risk of bone fracture due to osteoporosis. Risedronate is also used to treat Paget's disease of bone​3​.
  55. Folic Acid (Folvite): Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. As a medication, folic acid is used to treat folic acid deficiency and certain types of anemia (lack of red blood cells) caused by folic acid deficiency​4​.
  56. Olmesartan (Benicar): Olmesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children at least 6 years old. It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications​5​.

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