This study investigates the users of prescription drugs in primary care in Finland in 1976. The data are derived from a national health interview survey, the sample of which represented the whole non-institutionalized population of Finland (N = 21,018). Thirty-two per cent of people 15 years of age or over and 13% of children were using prescription drugs at the time of interview. Women used drugs more than men in all drug categories except for respiratory agents. Children used drugs mainly for respiratory or skin diseases, or for allergic disorders. Cardiovascular agents and analgesics were the most frequently used drugs among the adults. The elderly used all drugs more than other adults except for analgesics, which were used most by the late middle-aged. Characteristics of users of cardiovascular drugs were studied in exploratory multivariate analyses. By far the best predictor of their use was cardiovascular morbidity. In stepwise analyses other significant predictors were age, the visiting to a primary care physician, sex, and work status. Marital status, family income and region appeared not to be statistically significant predictors to the use of cardiovascular drugs.