Below are some tips and home remedies for dealing with a bout of hiccups. All of these are ideas recommended by the NHS and CDC:
Breathe in and hold the breath for about 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat three or four times. Then repeat 20 minutes later.
Breathe into a paper bag – it is important to not cover the head with the bag.
Bring the knees to the chest and hug them for 2 minutes.
Gently compress the chest; this can be achieved by leaning forward.
Eating and drinking
Gargle with iced water.
Drink from the far side of the glass – stand up, bend over, and place the mouth on the opposite side of the glass. While bending, tilt the glass away from the body and drink.
Place a couple of drops of vinegar in the mouth.
Place some granulated sugar on the tongue. When it melts, swallow it.
Sip very cold water slowly.
Drink a glass of warm water very slowly, all the way down without breathing.
Take a thin slice of lemon, place it on the tongue and suck it like a sweet.
Burping – some people find that if they consume a fizzy drink and burp, their hiccups go away. However, some doctors warn that sodas may also trigger hiccups.
Pull on the tongue – hold the end of the tongue in the fingers and tug. This stimulates the vagus nerve and eases diaphragm spasms, which may sometimes stop hiccups. This often does not work.
Press on the diaphragm gently.
Place gentle pressure on each side of the nose while swallowing.
In the vast majority of cases, hiccups go away on their own. Some say that by simply waiting and not worrying about them, the problem is likely to resolve more quickly.
If hiccups are caused by an underlying condition, treating that condition may help get rid of them.
If hiccups are persistent, a doctor may prescribe medication. This is often the case if a patient is:
unable to eat properly and is losing weight
sleeping abnormally or has insomnia
displaying signs and symptoms of clinical depression
The following drugs are known to help people with persistent hiccups:
Baclofen – a muscle relaxant.
Chlorpromazine – an antipsychotic medication.
Gabapentin – initially used for treating epilepsy, it is now prescribed for neuropathic pain and hiccups.
Haloperidol – an antipsychotic medication.
Metoclopramide (Reglan) – a medication used in the treatment of nausea.
Generally, doctors will reserve medication as a final resort having tried other options. Medications will also only be prescribed for severe and longer-term hiccups.
woman drinking and smoking with friends
Drinking and smoking are common triggers of hiccups.
Certain triggers cause most cases of hiccups. Avoiding these triggers can reduce the risk of hiccups occurring; these triggers include:
eating or drinking too quickly
eating spicy foods
a sudden change of temperature in the stomach caused by eating or drinking
swallowing air while chewing gum
If hiccups are caused by an underlying medical condition, such as GERD, treating that condition can prevent them.