Best and Worst Rated Drugs of 2018

(January 1, 2019)

These lists are based on average ratings received in 2018 on the AskaPatient web site. Average ratings listed are for 2018 only, so overall drug rating may be higher or lower. Satisfaction rating score is 1 to 5, with 5 being "best" (the medicine cured or helped a great deal) and 1 being "worst" (medicine damaged more than it helped or the patient would not recommend). Click on drug link to read patient reviews.

Rating Drug Name Commonly Used for:
4.43 ELMIRON interstitial cystitis
4.33 PREMARIN hot flashes
4.22 LAMICTAL bipolar; epilepsy; seizures
3.30 COMBIPATCH hot flashes
3.00 MOBIC pain (NSAID)
Rating Drug Name Commonly Used for:
1.00 FOSAMAX osteoporosis
1.00 LEVAQUIN pneumonia, sinus infection
1.07 COMPAZINE nausea
1.13 PERIDEX oral surgery, gum disease
1.15 ZETIA high cholesterol
MOST NUMBER OF "1"(Worst-Rated) DRUGS OF 2018
# of 1's  Drug Name 2018 Average Rating*
26 FLONASE 1.4
22 PROLIA 1.6
20 FOSAMAX 1.0
*overall combined-years average rating may be higher or lower

News highlights of 2018

In the United States:

- The phenomenon of skyrocketing prescription drug prices has occupied national attention this year, with investigations revealing problems throughout the drug manufacturing and distribution supply chain, including unethical corporate practices such as collusion on pricing. New legislation, continued industry monitoring, and competitive cash pricing from pharmacy business "disruptors" like Walmart, may lead to the availability of more cost effective prescription drugs in the U.S. For more information, read these related articles from 2018 on our web site:

- A whopping 59 new drugs were approved by the FDA in 2018 for conditions including COPD, leukemia, HIV, cystic fibrosis, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, migraine, and traveler's diarrhea. A new contraceptive ring that prevents pregnancy for a year was also approved. A complete list of the new drugs is available at the FDA web site:

- Drug manufacturing quality problems at sites in China and India were brought to the forefront in the summer of 2018. Recalls of affected generic blood pressure drugs containing valsartan eventually expanded to affect tens of thousands of patients worldwide. For more information, see article on our web site:

10 Most Popular AskaPatient Weekly Newsletter articles of 2018

A variety of health-related articles that we tweeted about and included in our newsletter caught our readers' attention in 2018. Here are the top ten:

1. The most common supplements have absolutely no impact on health, good or bad, study says. (05-29-18)

2. Common class of drugs used to treat several illnesses may increase the risk of dementia even 20 years after exposure. (10-25-18)

3. Sticking with these five healthy habits adds over a decade to life expectancy, analysis of 123,000 people reveals. (05-01-18)

4. Dietary changes could impact the spread of deadly cancer throughout the body. (02-09-18)

5. Scientists believe they have uncovered the secret to reversing age-related hair loss and wrinkles. (07-24-18)

6. What began as a lawsuit over 2 drugs has exploded into an investigation of 300, involving 16 companies colluding with one another. (12-12-18) (also see related article on our web site)

7. Reducing salt intake does not have any cardiovascular benefit for most people. (08-13-18)

8. Drugs commonly used to treat heart problems and arthritis may cause lung damage, researchers call for better screening. (10-30-18)

9. Blue light from screens slowly kills our retinas, but its effects aren't limited to our eyes. (08-10-18)

10. Phone app proves to be nearly as effective as a 12-lead ECG in identifying a heart attack. (11-12-18)