Taken by millions of people, anti-reflux medications associated with new side effects

Taken by millions of people anti reflux medications associated with new

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    Antacid and anti-reflux medications are among the most used by the French. Long considered to have no side effects, they are now linked to a higher risk of headaches and migraines.

    People who take acid-reducing medications may have a higher risk of migraine and other headaches, according to a recent study.

    Gastric reflux: widely prescribed medications

    Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, usually after a meal or while lying down. People with acid reflux may experience heartburn and ulcers. People with frequent acid reflux may develop gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is a risk factor for esophageal cancer.

    Acid-reducing medications include proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole and esomeprazole, histamine H2 receptor antagonists or H2 blockers, such as cimetidine and famotidine, and antacid supplements. .

    While they have long been among the products with very few side effects, a new study links them to headaches and migraines.

    A 70% increased risk of suffering from migraine

    For the study, researchers looked at data from 11,818 people who provided information about their use of acid-suppressing medications and whether they had migraines or severe headaches in the past three months. Only prescription drugs have been . Some medications became available over-the-counter without a prescription during the study period, but the use of these over-the-counter medications was not included in this study.

    In total, 25% of participants taking proton pump inhibitors suffered from migraines or severe headaches, compared to 19% of those not taking the medication. In total, 25% of those who took H2 blockers suffered from severe headaches, compared to 20% of those who did not take these drugs. And 22% of those who took antacid supplements had severe headaches, compared to 20% of those who didn’t take antacids.

    When researchers adjusted for other factors that may affect migraine risk, such as age, gender, and caffeine and alcohol intake, they found that people taking proton pump inhibitors were 70% % more likely to have migraine than people not taking proton pump inhibitors. Those who took H2 blockers were 40% more likely and those who took antacid supplements were 30% more likely.

    An invitation to talk about it with your doctor?

    It’s important to note that many people need acid-reducing medications to manage acid reflux or other problems, and people with migraine or severe headaches who take these medications or supplements should discuss with their doctor to find out if they should continue” said Professor Margaret Slavin of the University of Maryland at College Park.

    Given the widespread use of antacid medications and their potential implications for migraine, these findings warrant further investigation (…) These medications are often considered overprescribed, and new research has shown other related risks to long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, such as increased risk of dementia” concludes the scientist.

    Results that require confirmation

    These results will need to be confirmed, however, as other studies have shown that people with gastrointestinal disorders may be more likely to suffer from migraine, regardless of their treatment. Finally, remember that the study identified a correlation link (the two phenomena occur at the same time: taking antacid medications and migraines) and not a causal link (nothing proves that taking medications causes the occurrence of these migraines).