Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 3009–3011

Successful treatment of intractable hiccups by oral application of lidocaine

Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-012-1533-5

Cite this article as:
Neuhaus, T., Ko, Y. & Stier, S. Support Care Cancer (2012) 20: 3009. doi:10.1007/s00520-012-1533-5



Persistent and intractable hiccups are a rather rare, but distressing gastrointestinal symptom found in palliative care patients. Although several recommendations for treatment are given, hiccups often persist.

Case reports

We describe a new pharmacological approach for successfully treating hiccups in four cancer patients. In the first patient, chronic and intractable hiccups lasted for more than 18 months, but disappeared immediately after swallowing a viscous 2 % lidocaine solution for treatment of mucositis. Based on this experience, we successfully treated three further patients suffering from singultus using a lidocaine-containing gel. To our knowledge, this is the first report about managing hiccups by oral application of a lidocaine solution.


HiccupsTreatmentLidocaineOral application

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Neuhaus
    • 1
  • Yon-Dschun Ko
    • 2
  • Sebastian Stier
    • 3
  1. 1.St. Vincenz-HospitalLimburgGermany
  2. 2.Johanniter-HospitalBonnGermany
  3. 3.Private Practice for Hematology and OncologyBrühlGermany