Purpose. The aim of this study is to explore trends in primary care prescribing for chronic heart failure (CHF) over a 5-year period (1996-2000). Methods. This study consisted of repeated cross-sectional surveys in a dynamic cohort from the Integrated Primary Care Information (IPCI) primary care database. The cohort comprised all patients aged ≥55 years with a CHF diagnosis and prescribed a cardiovascular medication during the study period. The point prevalence per calendar year was determined for each of the main drug groups used to treat CHF. Results. The study population consisted of 3121 CHF patients. Small increases were seen in the percentage of CHF patients prescribed spironolactone (4.6%, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9%), β-blockers (6.1%, 95% CI: 2.6-9.5%) and angiotensin II antagonists (6.8%, 95% CI: 5.1-8.6%) during the study period, while the prescribing of digoxin decreased (-4.4%, 95% CI: -8.2 to -0.7). Prescribing of diuretics (difference: -0.7% 95% CI: -2.7-4.2) and ACE inhibitors (difference: 4.0% 95% CI: -0.1-8.2%) remained unchanged. Conclusions. Prescription of some drug groups for CHF increased. However, given the new scientific evidence that has emerged in past 15 years regarding CHF pharmacotherapy, the changes observed were less than expected.