This study looks into patterns of benzodiazepine prescription for patients attending a primary health care setting. Fifty one general practitioners and nurses were involved in the project. Information was recorded over a week, four times a year. In total, there was information available on 571 patients. Patients receiving benzodiazepine treatment tended to be females (68.5 per cent), aged over 40 (84 per cent), married (63.8 per cent) and with primary education level (77.1 per cent). Most patients received long acting (48 per cent) or short acting (36.7 per cent) benzodiazepine treatment. In 46 per cent of the cases the treatment was longer than one year. Benzodiazepines were prescribed for anxiety (44.8 per cent), insomnia (23.8 per cent) and depression (10.1 per cent). The study showed the need to improve rational prescription of these drugs.