Drug-induced hypertension

  • Definition
    • Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by using a chemical substance, drug, or medication.

  • Alternative Names
    • Hypertension - medication related

  • Causes
    • Blood pressure is determined by the:

      • Amount of blood the heart pumps
      • Condition of the heart valves
      • Pulse rate
      • Pumping power of the heart
      • Size and condition of the arteries

      There are several types of high blood pressure.

      • Essential hypertension has no cause that can be found.
      • Secondary hypertension occurs because of another disorder.
      • Drug-induced hypertension is a form of secondary hypertension caused by a response to medication.

      Drugs that can cause hypertension include:

      • Acetaminophen
      • Alcohol, amphetamines, ecstasy (MDMA and derivatives), and cocaine
      • Antidepressants (including venlafaxine, bupropion, and desipramine)
      • Caffeine (including the caffeine in coffee and energy drinks)
      • Corticosteroids
      • Cyclosporine
      • Erythropoietin
      • Estrogens (including birth control pills) and other hormones
      • Many over-the-counter medications such as cough/cold and asthma medications -- particularly when the cough/cold medicine is taken with certain antidepressants like tranylcypromine or tricyclics
      • Migraine medications
      • Nasal decongestants
      • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
      Drug induced hypertension

      Rebound hypertension occurs when blood pressure rises after you stop taking or lower the dose of a drug (typically a high blood pressure medication).

      Many other factors can also affect blood pressure, including:

      • Condition of the kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
      • Genetics
      • Foods eaten, weight, and other body-related variables
      • Levels of various hormones in the body
      • Volume of water in the body
  • References
    • Grossman G, Messerli FH. Drug-induced hypertension: An unappreciated cause of secondary hypertension. Am J Med. 2012;125:14-22.

      Victor RG. Systemic hypertension: mechanisms and diagnosis. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 43.