Background: Hiccup (Singultus) is a sudden and involuntary contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp closure of the epiglottis which results in the production of a specific "hic" sound. Normally, hiccups are treated without intervention. Intractable hiccups occur rarely but are a disturbing symptom underlying other health related disorders.
Case presentation: We report the clinical case of a 67-year-old male patient with myocardial infarction accompanied by intractable hiccups during the course of 8 months, and who was non-responsive to chlorpromazine or metoclopramide, and baclofen; drugs routinely used to treat this condition. This sustained hiccup had severely restricted the patient's ability to intake food and sleep. To explore alternative treatments, we investigated the adjuvant administration of lansoprazole, dimenhydrinate and clonazepam in this patient. We discovered that this drug combination was capable of successfully terminating his intractable hiccups, with no further evidence of recurrence. No similar treatment is previously reported for intractable hiccups. We further suggest a hypothesis concerning a potential mechanism on the anti-hiccup effect of dimenhydrinate.
Conclusion: We identified that the adjuvant use of lansoprazole, clonazepam and dimenhydrinate was capable of attenuating the symptoms of our patient with intractable hiccups.