Intractable Hiccups


Purpose of Review

Hiccups are a common problem that crosses multiple disciplines including neurology, gastroenterology and pulmonology, and primary care. There are no formal guidelines to the treatment of intractable hiccups and treatment is based on experience and anecdotal evidence often relying on older medications. We have reviewed the relevant literature with an emphasis on the last five years or so in management of intractable hiccups.

Recent Findings

The production of hiccups is a complex mechanism which involves multiple neurotransmitters and anatomical structure within the central and peripheral nervous system. A number of medications and other therapy have been reported successful for intractable hiccups.


Intractable hiccups can occur more often than we realize and present to multiple medical disciplines. A number of pharmacologic option have been found to be useful including dopamine-blocking medication, baclofen, and gabapentin along with anticonvulsants.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matthew Wodziak.

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Conflict of Interest

Stasia Rouse declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Matthew Wodziak reports personal fees from Medtronic for consultancy.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Neurology of Systemic Diseases

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Rouse, S., Wodziak, M. Intractable Hiccups. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 18, 51 (2018).

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  • Hiccups
  • Singultus
  • Intractable
  • Baclofen
  • Gabapentin
  • Medulla oblongata