Use of acid reflux drugs associated with higher risk of migraine

  • Researchers are reporting that taking acid-reducing drugs could increase the chance of severe headaches.
  • They note that acid-reducing drugs are often considered to be overprescribed.
  • They acknowledge that the study doesn’t prove acid-reducers cause migraine, only that there could be an association.

People who take acid-reducing drugs to help their stomach might be increasing their risk of severe headaches.

study published today in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice reports that people who take acid-reducing drugs could have a higher risk of migraine and other severe headaches than those who don’t take them.

Researchers said headaches could be associated with acid reducing proton pump inhibitors, such as esomeprazole, omeprazole, and histamine H2-receptor antagonists as well as H2 blockersTrusted Source, such as cimetidine and famotidine, and antacid supplements.

Acid refluxTrusted Source is caused by stomach acid flowing into the esophagus, usually after a meal or when lying down. Acid reflux frequently causes heartburn and ulcers.

People with more frequent episodes of acid reflux can develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can lead to cancer of the esophagus.

“Given the wide usage of acid-reducing drugs and these potential implications with migraine, these results warrant further investigation,” said Margaret Slavin, PhD, a study author and an associate professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, in a statement.

“These drugs are often considered to be overprescribed and new research has shown other risks tied to long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, such as an increased risk of dementia,” she added.

The study authors said their work doesn’t prove migraine is caused by acid-reducing drugs. Only that there could be an association.

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