Most cases of hiccups do not require medical treatment and will usually stop after a short period of time.
Self-help techniques (No medical treatment)
- Sipping ice-cold water
- Holding your breath for a short period
- Biting on a lemon
- Swallowing granulated sugar
- Tasting vinegar
- Breathing into a paper bag (never place a bag over your head)
- Pulling your knees up to your chest
- Leaning forward to compress your chest
However, while some people do find that these techniques can be helpful, they have not been tested in medical studies and it’s not clear how effective they actually are.
Treatment using medication
If other treatments have failed, or no underlying cause can be found, your doctor may offer you medication to specifically treat your hiccups.
A number of different medications are used to help treat hiccups, although there isn’t much high-quality evidence to suggest these are consistently effective.
Some medicines that may be used include:
Your doctor will usually prescribe one of these medications for several weeks, during which time they may gradually increase your dose until your hiccups are brought under control. Your dose will then be slowly reduced until you can stop taking the medication.