Hiccups - Remedies and Treatment

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How can I stop, get rid of, or cure hiccups?

Home remedies for hiccups

There are numerous home cures for hiccups. You can try these methods at home to get rid of hiccups:

Methods that cause the body to retain carbon dioxide, which is thought to relax the diaphragm and stop the spasms which cause the hiccups:

  • Hold your breath

Techniques that stimulate the nasopharynx and the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the stomach, and can decrease hiccupping:

  • Drink a glass of water quickly
  • Have someone frighten you
  • Pull hard on your tongue
  • Bite on a lemon
  • Gargle with water
  • Drink from the far side of a glass
  • Use smelling salts
  • Place one-half teaspoon of dry sugar on the back of your tongue. (This process can be repeated three times at two-minute intervals. Use corn syrup, not sugar, for young children.)

Is there medical treatment for hiccups?

Most hiccups will stop on their own. Home remedies are generally sufficient to resolve hiccupping.

For persistent hiccups (lasting more than three hours) treatment varies, and you may need to contact your doctor.

A physician may prescribe medications for severe, chronic hiccups. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) is usually the first-line medication prescribed for hiccups. Other medications used to treat hiccups include haloperidol (Haldol) and metoclopramide (Reglan).

Some muscle relaxants, sedatives, analgesics, and even stimulants have also been reported to help alleviate hiccup symptoms.

Phrenic nerve surgery (the nerve that controls the diaphragm) is a treatment of last resort. This treatment is rarely performed and used only in cases that do not respond to other treatments.

Return to Hiccups

See what others are saying

Comment from: jagonjo, 19-24 (Caregiver) Published: April 18

The best hiccup cure is a full distraction and/or fright. Hiccups occur when the hypothalamus is in overdrive mode, which happens during stress coupled with heightened stimulus to the amygdala. Two things work, focus on the sensation of the hiccup, try to do it. Force it even. Then, hold your breath, and focus on trying to hiccup. Then wait, and when waiting, do something that you are good at and love doing, like a game or go talk to someone or pat something fluffy or curl up in bed with at least 4 blankets. If you are still having trouble after doing all these things, then do them again.

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Comment from: AzVaMike, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 28

I slugged a glass of Sunny D orange strawberry flavored drink and it worked to keep my hiccups off for half hour. I am going to drink another and see what happens; it didn't work this time.

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