In 1992, 46 consultants in old age psychiatry were asked to list their five most frequently used antidepressants, with reasons for their choices, and to comment on an information set for evaluating an antidepressant for use in older people. Lofepramine tied with dothiepin as the most popular antidepressant. The relatively new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRis) were also widely used. Cardiovascular safety, lack of anticholinergic side effects and safety in overdose were important factors in choice. Some antidepressants were preferred for particular symptoms or circumstances. A modified information set for evaluating an antidepressant for use in older people is presented.