Taking acid reflux drugs is linked to an elevated risk of migraine, a recent study revealed.

Acid reflux is a condition that causes heartburn when stomach acids repeatedly flow back into the esophagus. It is typically managed by making lifestyle modifications and use of medications. When the episodes become frequent, the condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is known to increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

The researchers of the latest study who evaluated the use of acid-reflux medication in 11,818 US adults found higher odds of migraine or severe headache linked to the use of acid-suppression therapy, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), and generic antacids.

The participants were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the use of acid-suppression therapy was identified from a self-report confirmed by product packaging review.

The researchers used multivariable logistic regression models to analyze the relationship between acid-suppression therapy use and migraine or severe headache. The results indicate that 22% of participants using any type of acid reflux medication experienced severe headaches, compared to 20% of those who did not use any antacids.

Among those who used proton pump inhibitors, 70% had migraines or severe headaches after adjusting for factors like age, gender, alcohol, and caffeine use. Similarly, those participants on H2 blockers were 40% more prone to migraines, and those on antacid supplements were 30% more risk.

"Given the wide usage of acid-reducing drugs and these potential implications with migraine, these results warrant further investigation, These drugs are often considered to be overprescribed and new research has shown other risks tied to long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, such as an increased risk of dementia," said a study author Margaret Slavin in a statement.

However, the study does not prove that acid-reflux medications cause migraine. "Future prospective analyses are needed to investigate migraine risk associated with acid-suppressing medications while current evidence is sufficient to evaluate patients with migraine in light of recent deprescribing advice for PPIs," the researchers wrote in the study published in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice.

"It's important to note that many people do need acid-reducing medications to manage acid reflux or other conditions, and people with migraine or severe headache who are taking these drugs or supplements should talk with their doctors about whether they should continue,"Slavin said.