This study examined the factors associated with antidepressant use among community-dwelling elderly individuals. Data collected from the Bambuí Project, a population-based study on aging and health with a cohort of 1,606 elderly individuals, were used. Gender, age, education, marital status, household income and cohabitation status were the sociodemographic characteristics investigated. Health conditions included self-reported health, number of chronic diseases, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment and functional disability. Poisson regression with robust variance was used to test associations and to estimate prevalence ratios with 95% confidence intervals. The prevalence of antidepressant use was 8.4%. After multivariate analysis, antidepressant use was associated with the female gender (PR = 2.96; 95%CI 1.82-4.81), being single or divorced (PR = 0.48; 95%CI 0.25-0.91), cognitive impairment (PR = 0.44; 95%CI 0.24-0.84) and worse self-reported health (poor/very poor) (PR=1.86; 95%CI 1.11-3.10). The results are similar to those observed in several other studies conducted in higher-income countries and suggest that self-reported health in the elderly population of Bambuí is a key factor in the decision to use antidepressants.