Friday, September 17, 2021

16 Drugs That May Increase Blood Pressure

by | September 26, 2020 0

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a widespread epidemic that affects as many as 1.13 billion people worldwide and approximately 60 million adults in the United States. It is defined as a disturbance in the circulatory function associated with a persistent elevation of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) above normal or to a level likely to lead to adverse consequences.

Hypertension may result from an unknown etiology (primary or essential hypertension) or from a specific cause (secondary hypertension). Whatever may be the cause, the arteries are narrowed and the heart has to pump blood through these narrow vascular beds resulting in increased resistance to blood flow.

In this article, we will take a look at some drugs that may increase blood pressure.

Drugs that may increase blood pressure

1. Amphetamines (amphetamine, dexmethylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate, phendimetrazine, and phentermine)

2. Antidepressants (bupropion, desvenlafaxine, and venlafaxine)

3. Antihypertensive agents that are abruptly stopped (only β-blockers and central a2-agonists)

4. Anabolic steroids (e.g., testosterone)

5. Calcineurin inhibitors (cyclosporine and tacrolimus)

6. Cocaine and other illicit drugs

7. Ephedra alkaloids

8. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (darbepoetin-alfa and erythropoietin)

9. Ergot alkaloids (ergonovine and methysergide)

10. Estrogen-containing oral contraceptives (ethinyl estradiol)

11. Licorice (including some chewing tobacco)

12. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine sulfate) when given with tyramine containing foods or with an interacting drug Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (all types)

13. Oral decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine)

14. Phenylephrine (ocular administration)

15. Vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor (bevacizumab)

16. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (sorafenib and sunitinib)


  • Aguwa, C. and Ogbuokiri, J. (2006). Antihypertensive Drugs. In C. Aguwa and J. Ogbuokiri (Eds.), A Handbook of Pharmacology for Nursing and Allied Health Professions (pp. 8-17). Nigeria: Africana First Publishers Limited.
  • Antman, E. and Sabatine, M. (2013). Cardiovascular Therapeutics: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
  • James, P., Oparil S., Carter B., Cushman W., Dennison-Himmelfarb C., Handler J. et al. (2014) Evidence-based guidelines for the management of high blood pressure in adults. JAMA, 311(5):507–520.
  • Wells, B., DiPiro, J., Schwinghammer, T. and DiPiro, C. (2017). Pharmacotherapy Handbook. (10thed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Whittlesea, C. and Hodson, K. (2019). Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (6th ed.). London: Elsevier Limited.
  • Zeind, C. and Carvalho, M. (2018). Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs (11th ed.). New York: Wolters Kluwer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *