Although many patients taking ciclosporin (CS) for the long term develop hypertensive side effects, a proportion do not. We have studied the blood pressure response to graded upright bicycle exercise while continuously recording the metabolic rate in 18 normotensive renal transplant recipients whose mean age was 30.8 years (range 16–54). Nine were treated with CS alone and 9 with azathioprine and a steroid, prednisolone (AzS). Both groups performed a progressive exercise test, with work increasing by 25 W every 4 min from rest. All patients completed a workload of at least 75 W during the test. A group of 8 normal subjects whose mean age was 29 years (range 19–44) were exercised with the same protocol. The CS group had a significantly higher mean systemic blood pressure at both 50 and 75 W (124 and 132 mm Hg, respectively), compared with the AzS group (103 and 108 mm Hg; p < 0.01). The blood pressure response to exercise in the AzS group was similar to that observed in the normal group. This was despite a higher metabolic rate at each stage of work in the AzS group as compared with the CS or normal groups. Despite being normotensive at rest, renal transplant patients who are treated with CS have evidence of a vasopressor effect, with systemic vascular resistance inappropriately high for exercise, implying reduced compliance of the vascular bed.