What is the role of medications in the treatment of hiccups?

Updated: Dec 29, 2017
  • Author: Garry Wilkes, MBBS, FACEM; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Various agents have been reported to cure hiccups. Gabapentin, baclofen, and metoclopramide appear to show promise for persistent hiccups alone, in combination with other drugs, including proton-pump inhibitors, or as conjoined therapy. [2, 18]  In a systematic review of pharmacologic therapy for persistent/intractable hiccups in 341 patients in 15 studies, Steger et al noted that treatment of the underlying condition was the most successful, but there were no high-quality data to allow pharmacologic treatment recommendations. [20] However, on the basis of the limited data available, the investigators indicated that owing to their lower risk of adverse effects over long-term therapy as compared with traditional neuroleptic agents, baclofen and gabapentin may be considered first-line therapy for persistent/intractable hiccups, with metoclopramide and chlorpromazine in reserve.

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