There are a lot of things we don’t understand about hiccups, especially how to make them stop.
However some of what we do understand includes:
Hiccups are not indicative of alcohol consumption
There are several known medications that can reduce hiccups such as metoclopramide, baclofen and chlorpromazine. Although some medications such as these have been proven to be effective in reducing hiccups any medication can have adverse side effects. Other medications such as antidepressants and even marijuana have not been proven to be effective in relieving chronic hiccups.
There have been some limited reports of effectiveness of hypnosis, surgical procedures and acupuncture on intractable hiccups which are hiccups that are considered chronic lasting two months or more. Some surgical procedures known to have limited effectiveness include nerve blocks into the major nerve for the diaphragm which stops the nerve from sending signals stopping the diaphragm from contracting, implantation of a pacemaker that makes the contractions of the diaphragm more rhythmic.
As well as there are a vast amount of well known hiccup remedies that can effectively relieve some types of hiccups such as benign hiccups or persistent hiccups that may only last for a relatively small amount of time such as less than one month. Hiccup remedies are often considered old wives tales and myths however many hiccup sufferers swear by them. Some of the best known remedies include breathing into a brown paper sack, being scared or startled, holding ones breath, biting a lemon, gargling with ice water, drinking a large glass of liquid without stopping and many others. Although some may be myths it is extremely difficult to disprove or prove their effectiveness due to most hiccups that are benign or mild in persistence resolve on their own regardless of treatment of any kind.
Many medications are believed to actually cause hiccups including Midazolam, Digoxin and some forms of chemotherapy. Although these medications can in some instances cause hiccups, most hiccup symptoms are not severe in nature. If the hiccups are consistent and chronic in nature discontinuing the medication can in many cases resolve the hiccups.
Chronic hiccups can in rare instances be dangerous. Chronic intractable hiccups can limit healing, cause weight loss, and cause heart arrhythmias that can be fatal.
References for this article include: www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice-clinical-research/the-management-of-hiccups-in-terminally-ill-patients/203744.article