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250 Cures for Hiccups (Hiccoughs)

(打嗝声治疗, 打嗝治疗, 治疗打嗝声, 打嗝聲治療, 打嗝治療, 治療打嗝聲 , Hiccup behandeling, Hiccups behandelingen, behandelingen voor hiccups, Le traitement de hoquet, hoquette les traitements, traitements pour des hoquets, Schluckaufheilung, hickst Heilungen, Heilungen für Schluckaufe, Θεραπεία λόξιγκα, θεραπείες λοξίγκων, θεραπείες για τους λόξιγκες, La cura del hiccup, hiccups cure, cure per i hiccups, しゃっくりの治療は、治療、しゃっくりのための治療しゃっくりする, A cura do hiccup, hiccups as curas, curas para hiccups, Лечение Hiccup, лечения Hiccups, лечения для hiccups, La curación del hiccup, hiccups las curaciones, curaciones para los hiccups)

Cures: Mental | Breathing | Solo | With Assistance | With Tools | Drinking Water | Eating | Drugs | Hazardous

Introduction

Below is a collection of all the hiccup cures I've heard of. The cures are grouped by type, and the groups are ordered from simplest to most complicated (requiring water, food, drugs or assistants).

My own unusual hiccup

Often, when I finish eating, I hiccup one or two times. It doesn't matter how much I eat, or when; sometime, when I get up in the middle of the night for a drink of water, I hiccup afterwards. It's sort of like my esophagus saying "we're done now." Sometimes these hiccups come during a big meal — apparently, my esophagus has a different idea than I do!

The gasp-hiccup

I rarely get long-lasting hiccups, but when I do, I've found a technique that stops them. What I do is not tense up during the hiccup. My throat stays open, and instead of the sound of a "hic," there's a sort of gasp. I think the way I do this is to sense when a hiccup is coming, a fraction of a second before it happens, and then intentionally open my mouth and breathe in. I say "I think" because it's semi-automatic, and it's hard to tell whether my will is involved at all (though one reader has used a variation in the technique in which he "breathes in hard" at the time the hiccup is coming).

What I like about my gasp-hiccup is that it is not uncomfortable like a regular "hic!" hiccup; it's as if the hiccup has its natural follow-through. I imagine that a gasp-hiccup could be dangerous if I were eating, since it would be possible to inhale food into my windway.

I haven't included my gasp-hiccup technique in the list because it's not something everyone's able to do. A few people have written to say they'd tried it (and some of these have been helped) but I've never been able to teach anyone else how to do it in person, nor have I ever met anyone who could do it. If you'd like to read another description of (what I believe is) the same technique, see Peter B. Harrison's page about it.

Caveat singultor

The list below is a compendium of folk remedies, medical techniques, and drugs of various kinds (prescription, over the counter, herbal, illegal). Some cures that seem especially ill-advised are included in the "not recommended" category, but this is not to suggest that the inclusion of a cure in some other category is intended as an endorsement or recommendation. I am not a medical doctor, and my advice is limited to the Treatment of Hiccups section at the end of this document.



Purely mental cures (no tools, no physical activity, no assistant)

  • (X) Think of all the bald men you can.
  • (X) Tell yourself "I'm not going to hiccup again."
  • (X) Don't do anything; just wait for the next hiccup.
  • (X) Close your eyes and visualize a neon sign, like a movie marquee; see the word "THINK" blinking on and off; concentrate on the sign and make the word blink as fast as possible.
  • Imagine a neon blue color, coming from between your eyes, (also known as the third or psychic eye) and directing it down the centre of your chest to the xiphisternum and then washing calmly across the diaphragm, from one side to the next and back continuously.

    Cures involving your breath (or respiratory tract)

  • (X) Laugh.
  • (X) Swallow air.
  • (X) Hyperventilate.
  • Sing loud and with heart.
  • (X) Induce a cough or sneeze.
  • Scream for as long as you can.
  • (X) Do the Valsalva maneuver.
  • Relax and breathe from your diaphragm.
  • Inhale and exhale once a second for two minutes.
  • Take three to five of the deepest breaths you can.
  • Do the Complete Breath as practiced in Hatha Yoga.
  • (X) Blow on your thumb (as if you were blowing up a balloon).
  • (X) Hold your breath (for 8 seconds, for as long as you can, etc.).
  • Inhale some air into your stomach, then let out as loud a belch as possible.
  • Hold your breath with your stomach sucked in until you feel the hiccup pass. 
  • (X) Cough and continue to blow until your lungs are empty; repeat three times.
  • Carefully inhale; pause briefly; carefully exhale; pause briefly; repeat this several times.
  • Exhale very slowly (10-12 seconds), exhale slowly (no pause in between), repeat 5 to 6 times.
  • Inhale deeply; hold your breath for a slow count to twenty; exhale slowly; repeat three or more times.
  • Breathe slowly and semi-shallowly through your mouth; relax your stomach and chest as much as possible.
  • Inhale, filling your lungs and diaphragm completely; keep your lungs full and trachea open as long as you can.
  • Exhale as much air from the lungs as possible; take tiny breaths in and out for as long as you can; repeat if necessary.
  • Breathe in through your mouth as deeply as you can, as if you you're going to sigh. Count to ten, then let your breath out with a sigh.
  • As soon as the hiccups start, put your head on the ground (so that your body is in an inverted V) and hold your breath for ten seconds. 
  • Exhale as fully as possible and hold it out as long as possible; take a long, slow, deep breath; pause; slowly exhale; relax and breathe normally.
  • (X) Plug your ears (so sound is partially blocked), take a deep breath and swallow 3-6 times straight, without taking a breath between swallows.
  • Alternate inhaling and swallowing (without ever exhaling — squeeze your nose shut with your fingers if necessary) until you can no longer swallow, then exhale. 
  • Sit somewhere quiet; make sure your posture is straight; breathe slowly and deeply, diaphragm-style, then breathe through your nose as slowly as you possibly can.
  • A second or two before you expect a hiccup, exhale completely, firmly constrict your diaphragm muscles, and hold that position for several seconds; then breathe normally.
  • Close your mouth and breath easily through your nose; swallow easily once; tell yourself: "The electrical system short you have experienced has been corrected and your hick-up is gone." 
  • Lie down flat on the floor, press both fists against your stomach (parallel to each other, so that each fist touches each wrist), and breath deeply. (Alternatively, have an assistant do the pressing.)
  • Hold your arms out like a cross; breathe in as deeply as you can; bring your hands together in front of you as slowly as possible; once your hands touch, breathe out completely, as slowly as possible; take a slow breath in. 
  • Breathe in as you normally would to hold your breath, then repeat this as long as possible: suck in more air, wait two seconds, suck in more air, wait two seconds, etc.; then, hold your breath as long as you can; exhale slowly, completely.
  • Lie down; stretch out as far as you can (fingers toward the wall above your head, toes pointed toward the wall below your feet); hold your breath as long as possible then breathe once quickly for a quick half of a second then hold your breath again.
  • Lie flat on your back, completely relax your body, letting the air out of your lungs (don't force it out, just relax and let it flow out) until there is no pressure on your diaphragm; wait until the hiccups cease.  (Once you've mastered this technique, you may be able to do it without lying down.)
  • Take as slow and as deep a breath as you can tolerate (it should take at least 10 seconds to inhale; longer is better); near the end of this breath, you will feel a kind of shudder in your diaphragm; after the shudder, go back to breathing normally (if you do not feel the shudder, repeat the process until you do).
  • Exhale all of your breath, squeezing the air out as thoroughly as you can and hold your breath. While holding your breath, swallow two or three times (depending on how good you are at holding you breath and swallowing). Swallowing hard helps but is not necessary. Swallowing can be done either dry, using saliva or using a small sip of water. If you feel like you may hiccup again, quickly partially exhale and swallow hard.
  • As soon as the hiccups start (ideally, after only two or three hiccups), take several deep breaths quickly (that is, hyperventilate), exhale most of the air in your lungs, hold your mouth and nose closed so you can’t breathe. Then (and, if you can time it, just before the next hiccup), try as hard as you can to inhale (but use your hands to prevent any air from entering). If you are successful, the next hiccup will cause you to hear a sound like a muted burp. After the last hiccup, sit quietly; wait about twenty seconds before taking your next breath, then breathe slowly.

    Cures you can do by yourself with no tools

  • Fart.
  • Burp.
  • Don't swallow.
  • Burp a little bit.
  • (X) Say "pineapple."
  • (X) Stand on your head.
  • Make yourself vomit.
  • (X) Talk non-stop for ten seconds.
  • (Women:) Stimulate your clitoris.
  • Repeatedly tell yourself "you are not a fish."
  • Count to twenty with your fingers in your ears.
  • (X) Hold your head far back and stroke you throat.
  • Urinate; concentrate on both peeing and breathing.
  • (X) Gently rub your ear lobe until the hiccups are gone.
  • Massage right below your rib cage (on both sides).
  • Apply acupressure at pressure point Pericardium 6.
  • Apply pressure to your forehead just above your eyes.
  • Rub the back of your tongue to stimulate the gag reflex.
  • Try to say "now!" out loud just before your next hiccup. 
  • Press yourself to the carpet as hard as you can and hold it.
  • With your eyes closed, massage your eyeballs through your eyelids.
  • (X) Run; keep running for at least 10 minutes after the hiccups have subsided.
  • Rub your soft palate with your finger or a cotton swab until you almost gag.
  • Hold your tongue with your thumb and index finger and gently pull it forward.
  • With the fingertips, massage the pulse point on the opposite wrist, with slow circles.
  • (X) Sitting quietly without distractions, concentrating hard, anticipate the arrival of the next hiccup.
  • With one hand, apply pressure to the gums above your front teeth and to a point just below your nose.
  • Place the fingers of both hands together right below the center of your ribcage; press in and up at the same time.
  • Squeeze the end joint of your index finger with the thumb and index finger of the other hand firmly. Hold until the hiccups stop.
  • With your fingers, apply mild but firm pressure to the phrenic nerves at the position where they cross each side of the collarbone.
  • (X) With your right thumb, press firmly on the "pressure point" (#18 on this diagram ) of your left hand (reverse if you're left-handed).
  • (X) As soon as possible after the first hiccup, rap yourself sharply on the solar-plexus (a few times in a row if necessary) with the side of your balled fist.
  • (X) Take a finger full of hair from the crown of your head and as hard as you can stand (though not hard enough to pull the hair out) for 10 seconds. 
  • (X) Pinch the back of your shoulder until it hurts (this works because the nerves in your shoulder and the nerves that control your diaphragm come from the same place).
  • Put your hands and elbows over your head and hold your breath (for a count of twenty, or for longer than the space between hiccups, or for as long as you can).
  • Just before your next hiccup, tighten your diaphragm, as if you are trying to burp. When the next hiccup occurs, it will cause you to burp instead, and the hiccups are over. Rarely, you may have to do it a second time. (Dick McBirney asks that you call it the "McBirney Technique.")
  • As soon as possible after you start hiccuping (ideally, before the third hiccup), take a deep breath, look down (putting your chin all the way to your chest) and swallow three times; the third swallow, which tends to be difficult, is facilitated by working up a large amount of saliva before starting.
  • Close the eyes, press the thumbs against the eyeballs with enough pressure to be mildly uncomfortable, hold that for thirty seconds at least (do not exceed 3 minutes, as blood flow to the retina could be compromised in a very select group with a longer than 3 minute exposure) then rapidly release. Some advocate holding your breath while doing this (which is reasonable since few can hold their breath longer than 3 minutes thus saving providing an automatic protection against unduly compromising the retinal blood flow.)
  • (X) Count the approx. number of seconds between each hiccup, i.e. normal interval between hiccups could be several seconds apart. With this information as a guide, now anticipate each hiccup and mimic the hiccups both in frequency, sound, and even body language, so that you are deliberately hiccupping 'in sync' with it, even better if you can exaggerate the mimicking activity -- like acting on stage? The hiccups should disappear after 5 to 6 deliberations, between 20 seconds to half a minute usually. (Peter Liu, who discovered this technique, has asked that it be identified here as the "Peter-Pierre Method.")

    Cures you can do with an assistant

  • Acupuncture.
  • Digital rectal massage (see also).
  • Have a conversation with someone about something unrelated to the hiccups.
  • The rest of these cures are listed on a separate page, since they don't work if the person with hiccups knows about them. (Assistant click here)

    Cures that involve a tool, prop, or chemical (not ingested)

  • Hic-cup *
  • (X) Chew gum.
  • VNS Pulse Duo *
  • Jump out of a plane.
  • Take a hot bath or shower.
  • Breathe slowly into your shirt.
  • (X) Read about hiccups online. :)
  • Immerse your face in ice water.
  • Balance something on your nose.
  • Breathe through a wet washcloth.
  • Smell the fumes from a lighted candle.
  • Put ice bags on both sides of your throat.
  • Breathe into (and out of) a paper bag for a while.
  • Massage the back of the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab.
  • Spray ethyl chloride along the sternomastoid muscles on both sides.
  • Hang up side down on your bed and let the blood rush to your head.
  • Briefly stimulate of the posterior pharyngeal wall with a Yankaeur sucker.
  • Stand on a chair in a crowded room and say, “I have the hiccups!” loudly.
  • Touch your uvula gently with the handle of a spoon (breathe steadily to keep from gagging).
  • (For a baby with hiccups) Press a quarter coin lightly in the diaphragm area for a few seconds.
  • Lie down on your back with your mouth wide open; let your head hang over the edge of a couch or bed; breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Light a match, blow it out, then put the tip in a little bit of water (sulfur in the match calms the throat). Variants: put the match out by touching it to the water, use a whole book of matches, drink the water after dousing the match(es).
  • Slide a well-greased length of thin, flexible rubber tubing through one nostril to the point where it just barely touches the back of the throat (be careful not to hurt the sensitive lining of the nose). (This is known as "nasopharyngeal airway insertion," and is believed to work by stimulating the vagus nerve.)
  • Sit in a chair where you can lean far back, such as a recliner; close your eyes; tilt your head back as far as possible; open your mouth wide; inhale as much air as possible, and visualize a hook in the lower part of your throat and a ring farther up (that the hook could catch onto), then inhale even farther and visualize bringing the hook up and hooking it into the ring (see diagram courtesy Tom Pennington).

    Cures that involve drinking some water

  • (X) Drink three big gulps of cold water.
  • (X) Pinch your nose shut while you drink water.
  • Gargle (this can also be done with mouthwash).
  • Drink 9 to 11 small sips of water in rapid succession.
  • (X) Take a big sip of water, bend over and swallow it.
  • Drink a glass of water while someone presses your ears closed.
  • Drink two glasses of water slowly, at about half your normal rate.
  • Inhale deeply, swallow water, then exhale; repeat this three times.
  • (X) Drink water from the far side of a glass (so you're drinking upside-down).
  • Breathe in as deeply as possible, drink a glass of water while exhaling, then burp.
  • Drink water slowly from a glass covered with a napkin, hanky or other fine cloth.
  • Drink as much water as you can out of a glass glass of water with a metal spoon in it. 
  • Hold your hands over your head, and have someone feed you a (10 oz.) glass of water.
  • Take a big gulp of water, lie down, and swallow the water while holding your nose shut.
  • Take 26 small sips of water, breathing between each one, and not focusing on the hiccups.
  • Take 15 - 20 swallows of the water while holding your breath with your nose pinched closed.
  • Drink some water while focusing your attention on a dot or other feature on the bottom of the glass. 
  • Quickly drink eight ounces of water through a straw while sealing both ears by pushing on the tragus.
  • While applying pressure to the inside of the ear with your little finger, slowly take eight gulps of water.
  • Put a spoon in a glass of water; drink the water with the handle of the spoon resting on your forehead.
  • Put a knife in a glass (one made of glass) half full of water; drink all the water leaving the knife in place.
  • Hold your breath for ten seconds; then, without taking another breath, drink water for ten more seconds.
  • With your neck bent backward, hold your breath for a count of ten. Exhale immediately and drink a glass of water.
  • While holding a thin object (such as a pencil, chopstick, or straw) between your lips, drink a tall cold glass of water.
  • Sing along to your favorite CD while standing on your head and drinking a glass of water and wait for the hiccups to stop.
  • Plug your ears with your thumbs, squeeze your nostrils closed with your pinkies, and take several small sips of water from a glass.
  • SLURP a small amount of water from a full glass. (The SLURPING is the secret as it is the mix of air and water that stops the hiccup.)
  • Turn your left wrist clockwise until your palm is facing outward; from that position, pick up a glass of water and take three sips (over your wrist).
  • Take a big gulp of any beverage; while holding it in your mouth, massage your temples with your middle and index fingers; while massaging, swallow.
  • (X) Hold your breath, pinch your nose closed, swallow repeatedly from a glass of water until you have a drowning sensation, then take a deep breath and relax.
  • Take three slow, deep breaths; hold the third breath while drinking a big glass of water through a paper towel for as long as you can or until the glass is empty.
  • Take eight sips of cool water without breathing; on the ninth sip take a deep breath (from the diaphragm); let it out slowly; wait a few seconds; repeat if necessary.
  • Put a knife in a glass of water (blade end into the glass); drink the water without breathing, while keeping the handle of the knife constantly pressing against your face.
  • Hold your left ear with your right hand and your right ear with your left hand and pinch the lobes slightly, have a friend hold a glass of water to your mouth and drink it.
  • As you drink a glass of water, hold the top part of your nose (but not so hard that you can't breath through it) while counting to 20 and thinking of a purple cow with pink polka dots.
  • Cover a glass of water with a coaster leaving a crack just large enough to drink the water through; take a deep breath then exhale completely; drink all the water without taking another breath.
  • Standing but relaxed (leaning against a counter helps you relax), drink a full glass of warm water while concentrating; breathe slowly if necessary, but do not stop drinking to breathe; repeat if necessary.
  • Take a mouthful of water from a glass, tilt your head back, hold your nose, and swallow; repeat this, without stopping, as quickly as possible, until you've done it at five times in a row without hiccuping.
  • Put a spoon in an 8 ounce glass of water such that 1.5 inches of the spoon extends; place your tongue between the glass and the spoon so that the spoon presses on the top of your tongue; drink the water.
  • Fasten the spoon end of a teaspoon between the tines of a fork; place the handle end of the fork into a glass of water and rest the handle end of the spoon against your temple; drink (sip) from the glass of water.
  • With your mouth close to a stream of water flowing from a tap, use a narrow object (e.g., a pencil) to flick the water towards your mouth as fast as possible while drinking (in small gulps) as much of the water as possible.
  • Fill a plastic cup with water and place it on a table at around waist level; put your thumbs on your earlobes, bend down and pick up the cup by the rim with your pinkies; stand up straight, drink the entire glass, and put it back down. 
  • Put a glass of water (half to three quarters full) on the floor of your kitchen or bathroom; get on your knees and bend down to the glass; place your top lip on the far side of the glass and tip the glass to start drinking; drink until your hiccups go away or you run out of water.
  • Take a deep breath; exhale as much as you can; slowly drink water from a glass until you cannot hold your breath anymore; stop drinking and start breathing again. (One reader suggests that the water be at room temperature, and that you drink the whole glass rather than drinking slowly.)
  • Intersperse drinking with breathing so that each inhalation and exhalation is interrupted by three or more swallows (that is, inhale a little, drink a little, inhale a little more, drink a little, etc., then exhale a little, drink a little, exhale some more, drink a little, etc.). The hiccups will stop immediately, but keep going for one minute or for a period greater that the period of your hiccup, whichever is longer.

    Cures that involve eating or drinking something besides (or including) water (but not including drugs or alcohol)

  • Eat kim-chee.
  • Drink vinegar.
  • Eat a popsicle. 
  • Eat a dill pickle.
  • Eat a Hot Pocket.
  • Eat a marshmallow. 
  • Swallow dry bread.
  • Swallow crushed ice.
  • Chew on mint leaves.
  • Drink dill pickle juice. 
  • Drink bitters and soda.
  • Eat a spoonful of mustard.
  • Eat pickled habanero peppers.
  • Eat two tablespoonsful of honey.
  • Drink milk and eat peanut butter.
  • (X) Swallow a teaspoon of sugar.
  • Eat honey (but do not feed to infants).
  • (X) Eat a tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • Drink a shot of lemon (or lime) juice.
  • Suck on a hard candy (may take two). 
  • Eat a Slim Jim and drink a Dr. Pepper.
  • Eat a really sour candy (e.g. Warhead).
  • Eat a teaspoonful of Damson Preserves.
  • Eat some Jones Soda Carbonated Candy.
  • Drink ginger tea with honey for 10 minutes.
  • Put sugar under your tongue and hold it there. 
  • Drink any beverage until you can't drink any more.
  • Drink a shot of lime juice with Tabasco sauce added.
  • Eat a lemon or lemon wedge (as if it were an orange).
  • Quickly drink a cup of room temperature Coca-Cola. 
  • Drink half a glass of pop and then make yourself burp.
  • Put bitters on a lemon wedge and then eat the lemon wedge.
  • Slowly eat a mandarin orange, sucking it against the soft palate.
  • Swallow a teaspoon full of sugar and strong vinegar in one gulp.
  • Do three cartwheels with a Jolly Rancher (candy) in your mouth.
  • Take small, quick bites of something dense that is cold or frozen.
  • Drink a couple of swigs of white vinegar straight out of the bottle.
  • Swallow a spoonful of chocolate pudding (as if it were medicine).
  • Drink some soda (drink a second swallow if it doesn't work on the first one).
  • Squeeze a lime into a shot (not just a couple of drops) of bitters; down it quickly.
  • Drink tomato juice (especially if the hiccups were caused by eating things with a high pH) 
  • Let a tablespoon of sugar held between your tongue and the roof of your mouth dissolve.
  • Take five fast, deep breaths; after the last inhale, take three sips of 7-up without exhaling.
  • Sprinkle a lemon wedge with sugar, top it with 1/3 teaspoon of bitters, bite into it and suck it dry.
  • Put a spoonful of sugar in front of your lips, inhale and suck in the sugar so that it hits the back of your throat.
  • Swallow three or more tablespoonsful of sugar (or Splenda), letting as little as possible dissolve in your mouth.
  • Drink one drop of peppermint essential oil mixed in a small glass of water (e.g. a shot glass); repeat if necessary.
  • Mix 4 teaspoons of sugar in a large glass of water, plug your nose, and drink as much of it as you can without taking a breath.
  • Put sugar under your tongue and hold it there; if that doesn't work, breathe in, hold five seconds, breathe out, hold five seconds, repeat.
  • Put a heaping tablespoonful of JIF creamy peanut butter in your mouth; swallow all of it (or as much as you can without gagging) at once.
  • Immediately after placing a heaping teaspoon of sugar in your mouth, sip water slowly without inhaling for as long as you can; then stand relaxed.
  • (This from a bartender) Two drops of bitters; 2 oz. (2 shots) of sweetened lime juice; and fill glass (8 oz.) with soda water; drink in one continuous motion; wait 30-60 seconds.
  • Pour a packet of Sweet & Low into the palm of your hand and lick it, bite into a freshly cut lemon wedge, and swallow a teaspoonful of Angostura bitters. (The contributor, a bartender, asked that the name "T's Lick, Toss & Bite but Hick No More" be included with this cure.)
  • Eat a dill pickle while you lie on your back with your mouth wide open; let your head hang over the edge of a couch or bed; breathe deeply and slowly. 

    Drugs, herbs, and drinks that are reputed to cure hiccups

  • Dill.
  • Rolaids. 
  • Marijuana.
  • Smelling salts. 
  • Ignatia amara.
  • Shot of red cordial.
  • Shot of Jegermeister.
  • HICCUPS AWAY.
  • Magnesia phosphoricum.
  • Drink Alka Selzer in water.
  • Alcohol-free extract of catnip and fennel.
  • Take anything that would make you sneeze. 
  • A shot of bourbon followed by several forced burps.
  • Pepto-Bismol Chewables (take two, cherry-flavored).
  • Semen Arecae (seed of Areca catechu L., family Palmae)
  • Fructus Aurantii (fruit of Citrus aurantium L., family Rutaceae)
  • Put an Alka Selzer, salt, and lemon juice in a glass of water; drink.
  • Semen Allii Tuberosi (seed of Allium tuberosum Rottler, family Liliaceae)
  • Radix Aucklandiae (root of Aucklandia lappa Decne., family Compositae)
  • Lidocaine drops in the ears combined with sleep-inducing cough medicine.
  • Take repeated small sips of a full beer with a short pause between sips (a second or less).
  • Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati (rhizome of Polygonatum odoratum [Mill.] Druce, family Liliaceae)
  • Radix Ophiopogonis (root tuber of Ophiopogon japonicus [Thunb.] Ker-Gawl., family Liliaceae)
  • Quercus e glandibus (homeopathic remedy derived from acorns, manufactured by Schwabe, Germany).
  • Fructus Crataegi (fruit of Crataegus pinnatifida Bunge, and C. cuneata Sieb. et Zucc., family Rosaceae)
  • Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (rhizome of Atractylodis Macrocephala Koidz, family Compositae)
  • Various prescription drugs, including Amphetamine, Amyl nitrite, Baclofen (lioresal), Haldol (haloperidol), Reglan (metaclopromide), Dilantin (Phenytoin, diphenylhydantoin), Orphenadrine, Ketamine, Carbamezapine, Reglan (metoclopramide), Quinidine, Atropine, Reversol (Tensilon, Enlon, Edrophonium).

    Cures that are known to be hazardous

  • (X) Smoke a cigarette.
  • Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
  • Threateningly point a gun at the subject
  • Have someone deliver a swift punch to your abdomen. 


    Commercial Devices

    In the "Cures that involve a tool or prop" section, I've listed two commercial devices that claim to cure hiccups, the Hic-Cup (from Hic-Cup, Ltd.) and the VNS Pulse Duo (from Cyberonics):

    If you have personal experience with either of these devices, I'd like to hear from you (especially if the device ever failed to work).


    Overview of Hiccups

    Names for Hiccups

    If you’re searching the Internet for information about hiccups, you should use all three of these names/spellings:

  • hiccups
  • hiccoughs (pronounced the same as the first)
  • singultus (the medical term)

    Causes of Hiccups

    Although the mechanisms underlying hiccups are not fully understood (though it is considered likely to be due to over-stimulation of the glossopharyngeal nerve, which serves the pharynx, posterior tongue, and parotid gland), there are several common, widely recognized causes of hiccups:

  • tickling
  • smoking
  • swallowing air
  • hyperventilation
  • talking or laughing
  • nervousness, anxiety or excitement
  • eating (esp. spicy food) or drinking (esp. carbonated or alcoholic), especially doing this quickly 
  • rapid change in body temperature or temperature of stomach contents

    There are also many less well known (and much less common) causes:

  • alcohol abuse
  • laparoscopic fundoplication
  • misalignment of vertebrae in neck
  • reflux (stomach contents irritating the esophagus)
  • a low concentration of sodium in the bloodstream (hyponatremia)
  • foreign bodies lodged against the eardrum, in the lungs, or in the esophagus
  • irritation of the diaphragm, glossopharyngeal nerve, phrenic nerve, or vagus nerve
  • irritation to membranes enclosing the heart (pericardium), including by a pacemaker
  • other neurological problems (including multiple sclerosis, stroke, encephalitis, meningitis, brainstem lesions)
  • etc...

    Hiccups often arise in the absence of any of the causes listed above, so you shouldn’t assume that just because you have hiccups, it’s due to one of those things (in fact, the odds are it’s not).

    Treatment of Hiccups

    Usually hiccups go away by themselves in a short time, and don’t require any treatment. Often, they respond to the simpler non-drug methods described here. If your hiccups last long enough to significantly interfere with sleep, eating, or normal activities, you should consider seeing a doctor, to whom you might want to mention the less common causes and prescription medications listed here.

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