Study Finds Acid Reflux Drugs Increase Risk of Migraine by Up to 70 Percent

A new study found that taking acid reflux drugs like TUMS, Prilosec, and other proton pump inhibitors can increase the risk of migraine by up to 70%. The researchers suggest that people with migraine or severe headaches who are taking these drugs should talk to their doctors about the potential risks and benefits.

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Study Finds Acid Reflux Drugs Increase Risk of Migraine by Up to 70 Percent

Study Finds Acid Reflux Drugs Increase Risk of Migraine by Up to 70 Percent

A new study has found that taking acid reflux drugs like TUMS, Prilosec, and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 blockers, and antacid supplements can increase the risk of migraine by up to 70 percent. Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed data from over 11,800 people and found that those taking PPIs were 70% more likely to have a migraine, those taking H2 blockers were 40% more likely, and those taking antacid supplements were 30% more likely.

The study, published in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice, showed that a quarter of those taking PPIs suffered from migraines or severe headaches, compared to 19 percent of those not taking the drugs. Similarly, a quarter of those taking H2 blockers reported headaches, compared to 20 percent of those not taking those drugs.

Study author Margaret Slavin stated that these findings warrant further investigation, as acid-reducing drugs are often overprescribed and have been linked to other risks like an increased risk of dementia. While many people do need these medications to manage acid reflux, the study suggests that people with migraine or severe headaches who are taking these drugs should talk to their doctors about whether they should continue using them.

Why this matters: This study adds to a growing body of evidence that multiple classes of commonly used acid reflux medications may be linked to an increased risk of migraines and severe headaches. Given the widespread use of these drugs, the findings could have implications for a large number of people and highlight the need for patients and doctors to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of these medications.

The researchers emphasized that the study looked only at prescription drugs, not over-the-counter medications, and that people should not stop taking their acid-reducing medications without consulting a doctor. "While many people do need acid-reducing medications to manage conditions like acid reflux, those with migraine or severe headache who are taking these drugs should talk to their doctors about whether they should continue," Slavin said. The findings were published in the journal Neurology, and the researchers suggest that further investigation is warranted given the potential implications for migraine.

Key Takeaways

  • Acid reflux drugs like TUMS, Prilosec may increase migraine risk by up to 70%.
  • Those taking PPIs were 70% more likely, H2 blockers 40% more, and antacids 30% more likely to have migraines.
  • A quarter of PPI and H2 blocker users reported migraines/severe headaches vs. 19-20% of non-users.
  • Acid-reducing drugs are often overprescribed and linked to other risks like dementia.
  • Patients with migraines should consult doctors about continuing acid-reducing medications.