Intravenous lidocaine in the treatment of hiccup

South Med J. 2001 Nov;94(11):1124-5. doi: 10.1097/00007611-200111000-00018.


The word "hiccup" refers to an involuntary, spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm that is followed by the abrupt closure of the glottis to produce the characteristic sound. Among the many documented causes of this occurrence are those due to neurogenic dysfunction. In the past few decades, lidocaine has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of disorders thought to involve neuropathic mechanisms, including seizures, chronic pain, and arrhythmias. We describe a postsurgical patient in whom two successive intravenous infusions of lidocaine, 1.5 mg/kg followed the next day by 0.75 mg/kg, terminated his hiccup twice, whereas multiple other treatments failed to alleviate the problem. Various causes of this phenomenon are discussed, as well as a possible mechanism for the successful treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Hiccup / drug therapy*
  • Hiccup / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine