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:
Alcohol, amphetamines, ecstasy (MDMA and derivatives), and cocaine
Antidepressants (including venlafaxine, bupropion, and desipramine)
Caffeine (including the caffeine in coffee and energy drinks)
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
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
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
Foods eaten, weight, and other body-related variables
Levels of various hormones in the body
Volume of water in the body
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.
Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Bioethics at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.