Table 5

Most commonly used drugs per custom-defined drug class, per country, in an ambulatory setting

Drug classJapan (JMDC)Taiwan (NHIRD)Australia (PBS)
Drug nameNumber per 1000 usersDrug nameNumber per 1000 usersDrug nameNumber per 1000 users
AntibioticsClarithromycin112.34Amoxicillin443.86Amoxicillin506.88
Gentamicin109.87Cephalexin276.72Cephalexin279.23
Cefcapene84.12Sulfamethoxazole217.87Chloramphenicol148.45
Gentamicin sulfate73.38Erythromycin170.63Erythromycin147.04
Ofloxacin72.45Clindamycin168.23Cefaclor116.35
CorticosteroidsBetamethasone232.34Betamethasone353.29Prednisolone165.53
Dexamethasone154.65Dexamethasone285.17Hydrocortisone83.38
Hydrocortisone64.61Triamcinolone198.38Fluticasone71.28
Prednisolone60.3Prednisolone194.59Betamethasone65.42
Fluorometholone57.76Fluorometholone180.39Dexamethasone63.29
Analgesics (including NSAIDs)Paracetamol253.67Paracetamol879.68Paracetamol72.78
Loxoprofen63.76Diclofenac679.67Codeine27.87
Salicylamide42.91Ibuprofen615.18Ibuprofen9.71
Dihydrocodeine34.9Codeine194.02Oxycodone6.08
Ketoprofen31.47Naproxen101.18Diclofenac4.85
AntihistaminesCyproheptadine75.51Dexchlorpheniramine461.81Cyproheptadine3.11
Ketotifen57.63Cyproheptadine442.32Promethazine0.07
Olopatadine48.02Cetirizine381.81
Clemastine46.31Mequitazine338.95
Mequitazine35.14Chlorpheniramine309.08
AdrenergicsTulobuterol103.78Pseudoephedrine728.27Salbutamol164.14
Epinephrine86.05Fenoterol301.3Salmeterol32.61
Procaterol70.65Procaterol279.84Clonidine9.54
Salbutamol57.82Tretoquinol209.47Epinephrine4.15
Phenylephrine9.87Terbutaline177.29Terbutaline3.04
MucolyticsCarbocysteine175.47Ambroxol546.33Dornase alfa0.19
Ambroxol78.67Bromhexine335.46Mannitol0.01
Bromhexine49.24Eprazinone274.49Acetylcysteine0.01
Eprazinone8.95Acetylcysteine265.77Mesna0.01
Acetylcysteine8.46Carbocysteine197.11
Anti-infectivesOseltamivir41.17Lysozyme377.54Nystatin63.5
Lysozyme25.34Oseltamivir73.71Acyclovir1.78
Acyclovir14.65Econazole44.27Terbinafine1.43
Vidarabine6.63Clotrimazole29.53Amphotericin B1.41
Valacyclovir5.05Ketoconazole29Ketoconazole1.4
Psychotherapeutic agentsRisperidone0.72Sulpiride7.64Fluoxetine9
Sulpiride0.37Imipramine3.24Risperidone6.59
Imipramine0.32Doxepin2.27Sertraline5.8
Aripiprazole0.32Fluoxetine2.12Escitalopram4.3
Fluvoxamine0.27Risperidone2.06Amitriptyline3.4
ContraceptivesNorethindrone0.48Norethindrone15.18Levonorgestrel26.22
Medroxyprogesterone0.29Medroxyprogesterone9.53Etonogestrel7.82
Lynestrenol0.09Medroxyprogesterone4.81
Megestrol<0.01Norethindrone3.73
Megestrol0.01
Central nervous system stimulantsCaffeine2.11Methylphenidate13.54Methylphenidate21.24
Methylphenidate0.68Piracetam3.22Dextroamphetamine6.09
Atomoxetine0.32Caffeine3.2Atomoxetine3.28
Modafinil0.01Atomoxetine1.36Modafinil0.02
Citicoline0.01Modafinil0.02
Antineoplastic and immunomodulating agentsTacrolimus3.44Tretinoin6.81Methotrexate0.52
Ciclosporin0.26Tacrolimus0.93Azathioprine0.29
Leuprolide0.21Methotrexate0.38Mercaptopurine0.2
Methotrexate0.09Azathioprine0.29Ciclosporin0.16
Vincristine0.08Leuprolide0.15Tacrolimus0.15
AntiepilepticsPhenobarbital1.19Phenobarbital9.4Carbamazepine2.51
Carbamazepine0.63Clonazepam2.56Lamotrigine1.47
Zonisamide0.15Oxcarbazepine0.99Levetiracetam1.18
Clonazepam0.15Carbamazepine0.99Topiramate1.09
Levetiracetam0.13Topiramate0.98Phenytoin0.41
Anticlotting and antifibrinolytic agentsHeparin2.66Streptokinase9.55Warfarin0.42
Dipyridamole0.12Dipyridamole1.82Enoxaparin0.27
Warfarin0.11Heparin0.94Clopidogrel0.14
Beraprost0.04Epoprostenol0.16Dipyridamole0.02
Ticlopidine0.02Warfarin0.12Dalteparin0.01
DiureticsFurosemide0.42Furosemide1.78Furosemide0.82
Spironolactone0.27Spironolactone1.52Spironolactone0.51
Trichlormethiazide0.02Hydrochlorothiazide0.49Hydrochlorothiazide0.51
Hydrochlorothiazide0Trichlormethiazide0.4Indapamide0.12
Torsemide0Bumetanide0.06Amiloride0.03
Antidiabetic drugsRegular insulin, human0.09Metformin0.76Metformin1.46
Insulin glargine0.07Gliclazide0.49Insulin glargine0.98
Insulin lispro0.04Regular insulin, human0.36Regular insulin, human0.79
Metformin0.01Tolbutamide0.26Insulin detemir0.64
Voglibose0.01Acarbose0.25Insulin lispro0.22
  • *Custom classification, see online supplementary material 1.

  • JMDC, the Japan Medical Data Center; NHIRD, Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database; NSAID, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; PBS, the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.