Taking acid reflux medications such as TUMS and Prilosec increases the risk of migraines by as much as 70 percent, study warns

Taking popular over-the-counter heartburn medications, such as TUMS or Prilosec, increases the risk of migraines by as much as 70 percent, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Maryland analyzed data from 11,800 people, including 2,100 who used over-the-counter heartburn medications.

This included patients taking antacids containing calcium carbonate, which is used in TUMS, or proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec to relieve the burning sensation in the chest.

Twenty-eight percent of participants who used antacids reported suffering from migraines in the past three months, compared to 24 percent of those who did not use the treatments.

The results showed that taking calcium carbonate increased the risk of migraines by 30 percent, while taking proton pump inhibitors increased the risk by 70 percent.

Researchers warned that this could be because the drugs dry out the body, and dehydration is a common cause of migraines.

They also expressed concerns about the findings, warn against previous research had linked the drugs to dementia – a condition that repeated headaches are also linked to because they increase the risk of damage to blood vessels in the brain.

According to scientists, antacids like Tums may increase the risk of migraines

Millions take over-the-counter medications every year for heartburn – which affects more than 60 million Americans.

The condition is caused by stomach acid entering the esophagus (the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach) and causing a burning sensation in the chest.

The treatments have previously been associated with a host of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, gas and dry mouth.

But this study adds to a growing body of evidence that multiple classes of acid reflux medications may be linked to migraines.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES), a national questionnaire of more than a thousand adults administered each year in the US.

Data from the 1999 to 2004 surveys was used because these were the only ones in which participants were asked a question about migraines or headaches in the previous three months.

Migraines are different from headaches.

Migraine is a neurological disease that can cause severe headaches, as well as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, mood swings, diarrhea and fatigue.

Sufferers experience severe, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, which can last from several hours to several days.

The majority of respondents (960 people) were taking antacids that either contained calcium carbonate, which neutralizes stomach acid, or were proton pump inhibitors, which block stomach acid secretion.

But some also used H2 blockers such as Tagamet instead, which work by lowering acid levels in the stomach.

These are also available without a prescription.

The researchers found that 25 percent of those taking proton pump inhibitors reported severe headaches, compared to 19 percent of those not taking the drugs.

And among those taking H2 blockers, 25 percent had severe headaches, compared with 20 percent of those not taking the drugs.

Results showed that those who took medications containing calcium carbonate were 30 percent more likely to have migraines compared to those who did not.

It also found that those taking proton pump inhibitors were 70 percent more likely to experience a severe headache, while those taking H2 blockers were 40 percent more likely to get one.

Dr. Margaret Slavin, a nutritional scientist involved in the study, said: ‘Given the widespread use of acid-lowering medications and the potential implications for migraines, these results warrant further research.

‘These medications are often considered overprescribed, and new research has shown other risks associated with long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, such as an increased risk of dementia.’

She added: ‘It is important to note that many people require acid-lowering medications to manage acid reflux or other conditions.

‘People with migraines or severe headaches who are taking these medications or supplements should talk to their doctor about whether they should continue taking them.’

The study had limitations, including the fact that only a small number of study participants were actually taking heartburn medications.

The research was published in Neurology clinical practicethe official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.