This study is a survey of psychotropic drug use patterns among 934 elderly patients admitted to the Padua Geriatric Hospital. 34% of the patients took psychotropic drugs during their stay in hospital. The drugs most commonly used are anxiolytics and hypnotics of the benzodiazepine class. Women subjects living alone, and to a lesser extent those suffering from particular disorders, as of the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal apparatus, seem to be at higher risk in the use of psychotropic drugs. Moreover, the results show that psychyotropic drugs are prescribed during the stay in hospital and even on discharge to a high percentage of subjects who did not use such drugs before admission to the hospital.