Conflicting results from previous epidemiologic studies shed little light on whether medication use is associated with risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). To investigate this question, the authors conducted a population-based case-control study in Denmark and Sweden from 1999 to 2002, including 3,055 incident NHL cases and 3,187 controls. Participants reported their past use of medications and history of particular medical conditions. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate multivariate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the associations between medication use and risk of NHL; all statistical tests were two sided. Use of antibiotics more than 10 times during adulthood was positively associated with risk of NHL and most major NHL subtypes; when users were compared with nonusers, the odds ratio for NHL was 1.8 (95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.3); p(trend) for total antibiotic use <0.001. In addition, high cumulative use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was marginally associated with elevated NHL risk. Other medications evaluated were not associated with risk of NHL or its most common subtypes. Findings suggest that inflammation, infections, susceptibility to infections, and/or use of antibiotics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat these conditions may increase the risk of NHL. However, most of the medications examined were not associated with NHL risk.