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Symptoms and Signs of Hiccups

Doctor's Notes on Hiccups

A hiccup is the term that refers to a sudden involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. When this happens, the vocal cords snap shut and create the characteristic sound associated with hiccups. Most cases of hiccups go away on their own and are not associated with other symptoms and signs. Eating too rapidly or eating or drinking too much are the most common causes of hiccups.

Medical conditions can sometimes cause hiccups, but this is much less common. Medical conditions that might cause hiccups include stroke, brain tumors, or conditions or injuries that irritate the nerves that control the diaphragm. Sometimes, taking certain medications increases a person’s risk of having hiccups. These medications include, among others, levodopa, benzodiazepines, and medications to treat acid reflux.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.