Acid Suppressing Drugs Associated with Increased Risk of Migraine What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings were that the use of acid suppressing medications was associated with higher risk of migraine.  Which acid-reducing drugs are associated with this risk?

Response: The class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, esomeprazole, and lansoprazole) was associated with the highest risk of migraine, but the analysis also showed that other types of acid suppression therapies were also associated with increased risk. This included another class of drugs called histamine H2-receptor antagonists (cimetidine, famotidine, and ranitidine). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The study was not designed to prove causality — meaning that it does not and cannot prove these drugs cause migraine. Instead, it shows that there is an association between taking these drugs and migraine, which deserves further study in order to understand this relationship. 

That said, these drugs are often needed to manage reflux symptoms and to reduce risk for developing serious conditions, like ulcers and cancer of the esophagus. Readers who have questions should consult with their doctors, who are best positioned to evaluate their personal risks and need for medications. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It would be important to have more longitudinal data, which can observe if new onset or worsening of migraine occurs after beginning acid suppression drugs. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We also investigated whether dietary magnesium intake might somehow explain this relationship, because magnesium is a nutrient known to be both beneficial for migraine and its intestinal absorption is lowered by proton pump inhibitors. Unfortunately, this existing dataset was small for this analysis, but this would also be interesting to explore in future studies.

Slavin, M., et al. (2024) Use of Acid-Suppression Therapy and Odds of Migraine and Severe Headache in the National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveyNeurology® Clinical Practice.

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Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by