5 Most Common Prescription Medications and Their Side Effects

Common prescription medications from a Los Angeles pharmacy.
5 Most Common Prescription Medications and Their Side Effects

Medicine is one of the most impressive modern miracles, and new medications are being developed every day. With the thousands of conditions affecting human beings, it’s only natural that there are just as many medications to treat them — oftentimes there are multiple medications for a single condition. In today’s blog we’ll be discussing five of the most commonly prescribed medications in America, and some of their side effects. 



The first medication on our list is Amlodipine, a drug commonly prescribed on its own or with other medications to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. Amlodipine is also known by the brand names Katerzia or Norvasc. Amlodipine is classified as a calcium channel blocker, a type of drug that works by relaxing blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. Amlodipine’s most common side effects are dizziness, lightheadedness, flushing, or swelling of the ankles and feet. These can be counteracted by being more careful when rising to your feet from sitting or lying down. Rare allergic reactions to amlodipine may cause serious side effects such as rash, swelling, itching, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. If any of these occur, seek medical help immediately.



The next most commonly prescribed medication is Levothyroxine. This medicine is usually prescribed to treat an underperforming thyroid gland, and it provides additional hormones usually produced by a healthy thyroid. You might be prescribed levothyroxine, or a branded version like Tirosint-Sol if your thyroid is affected by other medications or radiation therapy. If you’re taking other medications, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about interactions, because certain drugs like antacids, cholestyramine, iron, colestipol, and others may interfere with hormone absorption, reducing effectiveness. Side effects of levothyroxine may include achiness or tiredness, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, and slow heartbeat.



Albuterol is also called salbutamol or albuterol sulfate, and is sold under the brand name Proair Respiclick. This medication is most commonly prescribed to prevent and treat shortness of breath caused by a number of conditions that cause breathing problems, like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Albuterol is usually only prescribed to be used as needed, before exercise or during an attack of shortness of breath. Albuterol’s side effects may include dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, or mouth dryness. Staying hydrated can help reduce the severity of these side effects, but speaking to a Los Angeles pharmacist can help you learn more.



Lisinopril, sold under the brand names Prinivil or Zestril, is a medication used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Lisinopril is prescribed to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems, and is sometimes prescribed to help recovery after a heart attack. Categorized as an ACE inhibitor, lisinopril operates by relaxing blood vessels to allow blood to flow more easily. The most common side effects of this drug are lightheadedness, dizziness, and headaches. These should become less severe as your body adjusts, but it can help to be more careful when standing up from a sitting or lying down position. 



Also known by the brand name Lipitor, atorvastatin is the most prescribed medication in the United States. This drug is prescribed in order to reduce “bad” cholesterol like LDL and to promote “good” cholesterol like HDL when paired with a healthy diet and exercise. Atorvastatin operates by adjusting the amount of cholesterol made by the liver, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. Mild effects may include diarrhea, joint pain, heartburn, or gas.


Interested in a prescription transfer to a Santa Monica compounding pharmacy? Contact Medico Pharmacy to find out how you can make your prescription experience more convenient than before!