Objectives– The purpose of the study was to use prescription data from a Danish database to analyse and evaluate antiepileptic drug (AED) utilization, and compare with other prevalence studies. Methods– A Danish research database covering outpatient prescription data from a population of 471,873 persons was used. Prescription records on all patients prescribed AEDs during 1998 were retrieved. A cohort was extracted from the group of AED users. Results– We identified 5426 AED users. A total of 3756 of the 5426 AED users were included in our cohort. Of the subjects in the cohort 74% were on monotherapy, 19% used two AEDs and only 7% used three or more AEDs. The eight most frequent regimens were all monotherapy: carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, valproic acid, lamotrigine, clonazepam, phenytoin and primidon in that order. The estimated crude 1-year prevalence of AED use was 0.77% for women and 0.83% for men (P<0.001), and it increased with age for both genders. Conclusions– The prescription pattern reported here is in accordance with the general guidelines for the treatment of epilepsy in Denmark, except for a surprisingly extensive use of phenobarbital. With specific reservations the figures appear to be reasonable estimates of the prevalence of epilepsy.