Best and Worst Rated Drugs of 2020

(January 3, 2021)

These lists are based on average ratings received in 2020 on the AskaPatient web site. Average ratings listed are for 2020 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 name to read patient reviews.

Top Rated Drugs of 2020*
Average Rating Drug Treatment
4.88 NARDIL (Parke Davis) depression
3.93 TRINTELLIX (Takeda) depression
3.86 CONDYLOX (Allergan) genital warts
3.6 COMBIPATCH (Noven) hot flashes
3.57 PRISTIQ (Pfizer) depression
3.46 VVANSE (Takeda) ADHD
3.28 METROGEL-VAGINAL (Bausch) BV (bacterial vaginosis)
3.21 LUNESTA (Sunovion) insomnia
3.15 VIIBRYD (Allergan) depression
3.13 WELLBUTRIN XL (Bausch) depression
3.1 ALDARA (Bausch) genital warts
3.09 LAMICTAL (Glaxo) depression;
3.08 OZEMPIC (Novo Nordisk) type 2 diabetes
*Drugs with 15 or more ratings received by AskaPatient in 2020 with an average 2020 rating score above 3.0 (more than "somewhat satisfied").
Worst Rated Drugs of 2020*
Rating Drug Treatment
(Sanofi Aventis)
1.24 ERYTHROMYCIN (generic) antibiotic
nausea; migraine
1.13 CIPRO (Bayer)  antibiotic
1.12 PRILOSEC (AstraZeneca) acid reflux; GERD
*Drugs with 30 or more ratings received during 2020.

New this year: Here is a list of the largest pharmaceutical products companies, ranked by average level of patient satisfaction across drug products for all years.

Large Pharma Company Rankings by Patient Satisfaction with Products

10 Most Popular AskaPatient Weekly Newsletter links of 2020

Many of the most popular links of 2020 were for databases where patients can look up information on hospitals, long-term care facilities, doctors, drugs, or coronavirus statistics. Here are the ten most popular links from our newsletter during 2020:

1 -  Look up how much your doctor or surgeon received from pharmaceutical or medical device companies in 2019 using the Open Payments Database. This tool from the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) has been updated with data on payments to doctors from pharmaceutical and medical device companies covering through the end of 2019.

2 - Look up your hospital to find out if it was penalized by Medicare for high rates of complications. Note: not all states are listed in the drop-down menu, so for more accurate results, search by city or town or the name of the hospital.

3 - To learn more about your medicine and whether it has a propensity to cause liver injury, look it up in the LiverTox database, produced by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). This online publication is regularly updated and contains more than 1,000 prescription and over-the-counter medications and herbal and dietary supplements. Each drug has a separate article that discusses the potential for liver toxicity, how long it takes for liver injuries to happen, and how soon or how well the condition resolves after time passes or after the medication is stopped. Many entries also include case studies. While the information is technical, it is written for both patients and physicians.

4 - Could a patient's medications be increasing their risk for COVID-related hospitalization? In this document, "Medications Compromising Covid Infections," a medical doctor argues that not enough attention is being paid to drugs' effects on disease progression, and reviews some classes of medications that may double the risk of developing pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.

5 - Do you ever get out of bed and feel dizzy, or feel vertigo for unexplained reasons? Blood pressure changes, ear issues, medications, or dehydration could be the culprit. Check out this recent Consumer Reports article that may help you understand what causes dizziness and how to fix it.

6 - If you feel tired on a regular basis, it may be time to examine your diet. A recent Consumer Reports piece on eating foods that fight fatigue identifies three nutrients that, when lacking, can lead to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion, especially in older adults:iron,magnesium, and vitamin B12.


7 - Find out your hospital's "Quality Star Rating" including patient ratings of the hospital using the "Hospital Compare" database at Center for Medicare Services (CMS).


8 - A NIHR-funded (U.K.) study analyzing more than 400,000 patient records found that people age 75 or older with low blood pressure (below 130/80) had increased mortality rates compared with those with normal blood pressure. For people age 85 and older or frail, the higher blood pressure actually reduced mortality rates. The research has implications for international guidelines for blood pressure targets, especially for older patients.


9 - What is the risk of catching coronavirus on a plane? There are a number of risk factors, including seat assignment, ventilation, boarding, and even which airline you use.

10 - Need some relief from worrisome news? Check out these "75 reasons to be cheerful: 75 people share the things that cheer them up" by a variety of artists, writers, musicians, and more. (Irish Times)

Top 2 Drug safety-related announcements during 2020:

1. The U.S. FDA issued a black box warning for asthma and allergy drug Singulair (montelukast) because of the risk of neuropsychiatric side effects, including agitation, depression, sleeping problems, and suicidal thoughts and actions.

2. After months of recalling specific lots of the stomach acid drug ranitidine (brand name Zantac) because of NDMA (cancer-causing) impurities, the FDA has decided to recall ALL prescription and OTC versions of ranitidine and Zantac from the market, effective immediately. NDMA concentrations have been found to increase over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures.