Whether it’s prescriptions or cold medicine, most likely you have a few different medication bottles in your home, but just how much medication are Americans taking, and do they know what the pills are? We surveyed more than 1,000 millennials (ages 26-41) from across the country to learn about their prescription, over-the-counter, and vitamin use.

Millennial Feedback on Prescriptions

According to respondents, 61% of millennials take prescription medicine. When broken down by gender, millennial women (68%) report taking more prescription medication than men (54%).

Of those who take prescription medication, 31% report it being for anti-anxiety, followed by 28% who take antidepressants, and 18% who take prescriptions for birth control. With the oldest millennial now 41-years-old, it may be no surprise, 18% also take medication for pain/anti-inflammatory and 15% have prescriptions for blood pressure. 

Majority (68%) of millennials take one prescription per day, while 20% say they take prescriptions multiple times a day.

37% of millennials admit to taking a prescription medicine that was not prescribed to them and 43% report doing so in the last year. 52% say they took the medication because they wanted to see if it helped a medical condition. Meanwhile, 31% say they did it for recreational use.

Although people may set alarms or leave reminders around the house, 40% of millennials say they forget to take their medication.

There’s no question the pandemic has put a strain on everyone, millennials included. 61% say their mental health has suffered since March 2020 and 16% say they’ve started taking a mental-health related prescription since the start of the pandemic. 

It’s no surprise 95% of millennials believe the cost of prescription medications should be lowered.

45% of millennials spend $0 on prescriptions per month, 23% report spending $1-19 a month, and 15% say they spend $20-39 per month. The average amount a millennial spends per year on prescriptions? $252.

More than 1 in 10 (15%) say it is difficult to afford their prescription. More than half of millennials (53%) request generic-brand medications to help save costs, and 28% utilize websites and services to find discounts on prescriptions.

Additionally, 7% are unable to afford a prescription they are currently being prescribed and 19% have skipped doses to save medication, therefore, saving money. 12% also say they’ve had to choose between buying their medication or buying food.

More than a quarter of millennials have gone without taking medication because it was too expensive and/or health insurance wouldn’t cover it. Of those who have gone without their medication, 71% said their physical or mental health was greatly impacted.

As for what medicines people have readily available at home, 15% of millennials say they have one old prescription lying around and 14% report having two old prescriptions at home. The top reason why they haven’t gotten rid of them? In case they need them at a later time. Additionally, 35% have taken an expired prescription.

When it comes to over the counter medications, 12% of millennials admit to misusing them, the top reasons being to get high and to sleep. 72% of millennials also say they’ll take OTC medications to try to get better before contacting a doctor.

With health and wellness top of mind for many, 78% of millennials report taking vitamins or supplements regularly or semi-regularly. Slightly more women (81%) take vitamins than men (75%).

The most common types of vitamins millennials are taking are multivitamins, Vitamin D and Vitamin C.

42% spend up to $19 a month on vitamins and supplements. Only 28% of millennials take vitamins because their doctor suggested it, with 44% saying they learned about the vitamins they take on the internet.

1 in 3 millennials report being more interested in vitamins and supplements since the pandemic began.The top things they are interested in: immune health and multivitamins. Additionally, 1 in 3 have also increased their vitamin and supplement consumption since March 2020.

Although the youngest millennial is 26-years-old, 52% of those surveyed say they prefer gummies instead of pill form.

With the rise of telehealth, there are more options to see your doctor. However, the majority (57%) of millennials prefer in-person visits, compared to 43% that would rather use telehealth.

When it comes to the level of care, 48% believe you get worse care via telehealth, another 48% say you get the same level of care and 4% believe you get better care via telehealth.

More than half (56%) of millennials have skipped or put off going to the doctor in the last year. 31% avoided going due to cost, 28% say it was because of COVID-19 concerns and 27% couldn’t find the time.


In February 2022, we surveyed 1,100 millennials (aged 26-41) to get their feedback on prescription medication, over the counter medicines, and vitamins/supplements. Respondents were 48% female and 49% male, with an average age of 33 years old. 62% reported being employed full-time and 19% reported being unemployed. 

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When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing https://druggenius.com

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