Acid Reflux Medications Could Be Your Source Of Migraines, Study Shows

In Education

Using antacids for relief after consuming spicy food can alleviate heartburn; however, recent studies indicate a potential link between the use of acid-reducing medications and an increased risk of migraines. These medications comprise proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole, esomeprazole), histamine H2-receptor antagonists (such as cimetidine and famotidine), and antacid supplements.

Acid reflux medication could cause migraines

Researchers at the University of Maryland have not established conclusive evidence linking acid-reducing medications to migraines, but they have observed a correlation between the two. Acid reflux, characterized by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, commonly causes heartburn and ulcers. Chronic acid reflux can progress to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), potentially increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.

The study author, Margaret Slavin, PhD, RDN from the University of Maryland in College Park, suggests further investigation into the potential implications of acid-reducing drugs on migraines due to their widespread usage. Slavin highlights concerns about overprescription of these drugs and mentions recent research linking long-term use of proton pump inhibitors to increased risks, including dementia.

Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers linked to severe headaches

The research involved 11,818 individuals who shared details on their use of acid-reducing medications and their experience of migraines or severe headaches in the past three months. Findings revealed that 25% of those using proton pump inhibitors reported migraines or severe headaches, compared to 19% of non-users. Similarly, 25% of H2 blocker users experienced severe headaches, while 20% of non-users did. Additionally, 22% of antacid supplement users faced severe headaches, in contrast to 20% of non-users.

Researchers found that individuals using proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, or antacid supplements were more likely to experience migraines after adjusting for various factors like age, sex, and substance use. Proton pump inhibitor users had a 70% higher likelihood, H2 blocker users had a 40% higher likelihood, and antacid supplement users had a 30% higher likelihood of experiencing migraines compared to those not using these medications. It’s crucial for individuals using these drugs to discuss with their doctors whether they should continue, considering their potential impact on migraines.

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