10 Most Common Drug Combinations

assortment of medicines
Tori Marsh
Tori Marsh, MPH, is on the Research Team at GoodRx, and is the resident expert on drug pricing and savings.
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Did you know that nearly 7 in 10 Americans take a prescription drug, and about 50% of Americans take at least two? In many cases, taking more than one drug is necessary to cure an ailment, treat symptoms, or control a chronic disease. But in others, multiple drugs may not mix well in your body, and in your pocketbook.

We’ve compiled a list of drugs commonly taken together. We’ll tell you more about why these drugs are taken together, and which ones work. But are all of these combinations safe?

Top 10 Two Drug Combinations
Rank Drugs What is it for?
1 lisinopril
atorvastatin
Heart disease
2 lisinopril
metformin
Heart disease & diabetes
3 amlodipine
lisinopril
Heart disease
4 alprazolam
amphetamine salt combo
ADHD & anxiety
5 amphetamine salt combo
amphetamine salt combo xr
ADHD
6 hydrocodone/acetaminophen
alprazolam
Pain & anxiety
7 amlodipine
atorvastatin
Heart disease
8 lisinopril
hydrochlorothiazide
Heart disease
9 atorvastatin
clopidogrel
Heart disease
10 atorvastatin
metformin
Heart disease & diabetes

 

Top 10 Three Drug Combinations
Rank Drugs What is it for?
1   metformin
lisinopril
atorvastatin
Heart disease & diabetes
2 clopidogrel
atorvastatin
lisinopril
Heart disease
3 glipizide
metformin
lisinopril
Heart disease & diabetes
4 atorvastatin
amlodipine
lisinopril
Heart disease
5 amlodipine
hydrochlorothiazide
lisinopril
Heart disease
6 carvedilol
atorvastatin
lisinopril
Heart disease
7 atorvastatin
metoprolol
lisinopril
Heart disease
8 clopidogrel
metoprolol
atorvastatin
Heart disease
9 lisinopril
carvedilol
furosemide
Heart disease
10 amlodipine
metformin
lisinopril
Heart disease and diabetes


What’s going on in this table?

We compiled a representative sample of nationwide U.S. prescription drug claims to see common drug combinations. Here are some patterns we found interesting.

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Dangerous combinations

It’s hard to imagine that people would be prescribed drugs that have dangerous interactions. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you think. Most dangerous combinations happen when two different doctors prescribe two different medications and are unaware of the other prescription. In order to avoid taking drugs that may interact, make sure you discuss any medication you are on with every doctor you see.  

What’s the good news?

Although some drug combinations can be dangerous, there are some combinations that work very well together, with few side effects or interactions.

Are there ways to save?

Believe it or not, in some cases, you can save by taking fewer drugs, or switching to a less expensive alternative. These common combinations have less expensive alternatives you might want to discuss with your doctor.  

Information on drug interactions and savings tips come from Dr. Sharon Orrange, MD MPH, a contributor on the GoodRx Medical Team. Data comes from several sources, including pharmacy data and insurer data, and provides a representative sample of nationwide US prescription drug claims.

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