People who take acid-reducing drugs may have a higher risk of migraine and other severe headaches than those who do not take these medications, according to a recent study published in Neurology Clinical Practice.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland, the study sheds light on the potential adverse effects associated with commonly prescribed acid-suppression therapies.

The study – Use of Acid-Suppression Therapy and Odds of Migraine and Severe Headache in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveyanalysed data from over 11,000 adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004.

Participants who reported using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), histamine H2-receptor antagonists (H2 blockers), or antacid supplements were compared with those who did not use these medications.

The results

Results revealed a concerning trend: individuals using acid-suppression therapy, including PPIs, H2 blockers, and antacid supplements, had higher odds of experiencing migraine or severe headache compared to non-users.

Specifically, those taking PPIs were 70 per cent more likely to report migraine, while users of H2 blockers and antacid supplements showed a 40  per cent and 30 per cent increased risk, respectively.

Lead researcher Margaret Slavin, PhD, RDN, outlined the significance of these findings, particularly in light of the widespread use of acid-reducing medications. “Given the wide usage of acid-reducing drugs and these potential implications with migraine, these results warrant further investigation,” she said.

Salvin also highlighted the importance of consulting healthcare providers for individuals currently using these medications, especially those with existing migraine or severe headache symptoms.

Study facts

It’s worth noting that the study focused solely on prescription drugs and did not include over-the-counter medications.

While some of these drugs became available without a prescription during the study period, the researchers did not include their usage in this research. Additionally, while other studies have suggested a link between gastrointestinal conditions and migraine, Dr. Slavin suggests that this relationship does not fully explain the association found in this study.

Despite some limitations, including the relatively small number of individuals taking certain drugs like H2 blockers, the study underscores the need for further investigation into the potential risks associated with acid-suppression therapy.

Early diagnosis

Consider alternative approaches for managing acid reflux and related conditions and reduce the potential risks associated with acid-suppression therapy

Peptest, a reflux diagnostic test, provides an invaluable tool for early detection and personalised treatment planning. It offers accurate and reliable reflux diagnostic testing.

Sign up

Subscribe To Our Email Newsletter

Be the first to know about EXCLUSIVE discount offers and the latest research into reflux.

You have Successfully Subscribed!