Drug induced hypertension--An unappreciated cause of secondary hypertension

Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Sep 15;763(Pt A):15-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.06.027. Epub 2015 Jun 19.


Most patients with hypertension have essential hypertension or well-known forms of secondary hypertension, such as renal disease, renal artery stenosis, or common endocrine diseases (hyperaldosteronism or pheochromocytoma). Physicians are less aware of drug induced hypertension. A variety of therapeutic agents or chemical substances may increase blood pressure. When a patient with well controlled hypertension is presented with acute blood pressure elevation, use of drug or chemical substance which increases blood pressure should be suspected. Drug-induced blood pressure increases are usually minor and short-lived, although rare hypertensive emergencies associated with use of certain drugs have been reported. Careful evaluation of prescription and non-prescription medications is crucial in the evaluation of the hypertensive individual and may obviate the need for expensive and unnecessary evaluations. Discontinuation of the offending agent will usually achieve adequate blood pressure control. When use of a chemical agent which increases blood pressure is mandatory, anti-hypertensive therapy may facilitate continued use of this agent. We summarize the therapeutic agents or chemical substances that elevate blood pressure and their mechanisms of action.

Keywords: Bevacizumab; Blood pressure; Celecoxib; Drug-induced hypertension; Lapatinib; Medications; Prednisone Licorice acid; Rofecoxib; Sorafenib; Sunitinib; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors; Venlafaxine; chemicals; cyclosporin A.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*