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Hiccups (cont.)

What is the medical treatment for hiccups?

Treatment for getting rid of the hiccups depends on how severe the hiccups are.

  • For the common hiccups that will usually stop on their own, home remedies are generally sufficient to cure the symptoms.
  • For more severe, persistent hiccups (usually lasting over to 2 days), the doctor may try medications to manage the patient's hiccups. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) is usually the first prescription medication tried for hiccups, although drugs such as baclofen (Lioresal) and medications for convulsions such as phenytoin (Dilantin) have also been successful.
  • Anesthesia to block the phrenic nerve and surgical implantation of an electronic stimulator to the vagus nerve has been effective. Surgery to disable the phrenic nerve (the nerve that controls the diaphragm) is often the treatment of last resort.

What is the outlook for a person who has the hiccups?

In healthy people, hiccups usually go away by themselves with no serious effects after that. If hiccups continue, however, they may cause social embarrassment and distress, and if prolonged may result in speech, eating, and sleeping disorders.


University of Maryland Medical Center. "Hiccups." Updated Jan 22, 2013.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/19/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hiccups »

The term "hiccup" derives from the sound of the event. "Hiccough" erroneously implies an association with respiratory reflexes.

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