The use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the province of Saskatchewan was compared for two years, 1978 and 1986, using the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan data base. The percentage of the adult population receiving an MAOI decreased from 0.17% in 1978 to 0.07% in 1986. The use of both tricyclic antidepressants and the new generation antidepressants increased during the same period. Physicians appear to have selectively avoided using MAOIs for the elderly. Physicians who are not psychiatrists showed the greatest reduction in their use of the MAOIs. The data indicate an increasing reluctance to prescribe the MAOIs despite the recent resurgence of interest in these agents and the positive literature concerning their safety and efficacy.