More than 17.8 million or 88.7 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over took medication in 2017, according to Roy Morgan Research health and wellbeing data.
This comprises about 9.4 million women, or 92.6 per cent of Australian women, compared with just under 8.4 million men, or 84.8 per cent of Australian men.
The most widely taken medications were aspirin, Panadol, Voltaren, Nurofen and similar products, taken by an estimated 77.3 per cent of the population aged 14 and over. Allergy, antihistamine, and cold-and-flu medications were taken by an estimated 42.9 per cent and included Sudafed, Benadryl, Claratyne, Telfast and others.
Vitamins and supplements were taken by an estimated 42.5 per cent and include Berocca, Blackmores, Swisse and Cenovis products, while digestive system medications such as Gaviscon, Quick-Eze, Mylanta, Nexium and the like were taken by an estimated 26.4 per cent.
Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine says nine in 10 people take medication, with women more committed to dealing with health and medical issues than their male counterparts, as data shows women are more likely than men to take almost all types of medications, except those for heart and circulation problems, which were taken by 19.6 per cent of men last year compared with 18.6 per cent of women.
She adds that the propensity of women to take most forms of medication more than men is supported by the fact women are more likely to report experiencing an illness or condition, with the study showing more than 96.2 per cent of women reported having an illness or condition in 2017 compared with 92.6 per cent of men.