The consumption of drugs was registered for 191 nursing home patients (NH, median age 84) and for 42 medical home care patients (MHC, median age 74). Drug treatment was common in both groups and somewhat higher in MHC (4.4 and 4.9 drugs, respectively per patient). The proportion of men/women on drugs and the average number of drugs prescribed differed between the sexes only exceptionally. Drugs for cardiovascular diseases, psychotropic drugs, laxatives and analgesics were the most frequently used. Although psychotropic drugs were frequently prescribed, symptoms of emotional disturbances appeared undertreated. Demented patients received anxiolytic drugs less frequently than non-demented. The NH group received inadequate pain relief, there were few prescriptions for infectious diseases, and intravenous infusions were rare.