As part of a WHO project on parasuicide, the medications used for self-poisoning in the Stockholm area were studied. The prescribing rates of the medications were estimated from an independent survey of prescriptions. Anxiolytics, hypnotics, and analgesics were the drugs most commonly used for parasuicide. Related to prescribing rates, antipsychotics and anxiolytics represented an increased risk for parasuicide compared to the average for psychotropics. Analgesics, on the other hand, showed a lower risk for parasuicide. The low number of self-poisonings with antidepressants may reflect that suicidal individuals are seldom prescribed antidepressants and/or that antidepressants actually prevent suicidal acts. As we have shown earlier for completed suicides, underprescribing and therapeutic failure seem to be greater problems with antidepressants than their use for self-poisoning.