Antidepressants appear to promote tumor growth in experimental studies; however, results from epidemiologic studies are inconclusive. We used a population-based cohort study to estimate the incidence of cancer after antidepressant treatment in 39,807 adult users of antidepressants identified in the Prescription Database of the County of North Jutland, Denmark between January 1, 1989 and December 31, 1995. Information on cancer occurrence was obtained from the Danish Cancer Registry. We categorized exposure according to use of tricyclic antidepressants, tetracyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. In the follow-up period beginning 1 year after first known prescription, there were 966 cancers among users of antidepressants; our population estimate suggested an expected number of 946 for an overall standardized incidence ratio of 1.0 (95% confidence interval = 1.0-1.1). Users of tricyclic antidepressants had an excess of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, with the risk increasing with the number of prescriptions of tricyclic antidepressants. The standardized incidence ratio was 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.2) for those with five or more prescriptions. Our results provide little evidence that antidepressants promote cancer at other sites, except for a possible effect of tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.