Hypertension represents a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. The prescription of antihypertensive drugs and the daily doses used were examined in a questionnaire-based survey among 2,586 drug-treated hypertensive patients who attended a general practitioner for clinical control in November 1995. The proportion of patients treated with one antihypertensive drug only was 63%. ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers and angiotensin-II antagonists constituted 22.7%, 6.6% and 4.4%, and betablockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics 21.7%, 23.7% and 16.3% of the prescriptions respectively. Women were more often prescribed diuretics than men, and older individuals more often than younger persons. No striking difference in the prescription of antihypertensive drugs were observed between the five health regions of Norway. There was no reduction in the prescribed daily doses of antihypertensives used in combination therapy compared with monotherapy. In approximately one quarter of the prescriptions there was a positive correlation between the prescribed daily dose and the patient's weight. The number of antihypertensives prescribed did positively correlate with the patient's weight. This survey shows that antihypertensives without any documented effect on morbidity and mortality were frequently prescribed for hypertension in general practice. Except for the low proportion of diuretic users among elderly patients, our results is in accordance with the Guidelines from the Norwegian Society of General Practitioners.