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How Can I Get Rid of Hiccups?

Breathing into a paper bag can help to get rid of hiccups.
Water can help to relieve hiccups.
A tablespoon of peanut butter may provide relief from hiccups.
A diagram showing the vagus nerve, which is connected to hiccups.
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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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Hiccups result from spasms of the diaphragm that cause involuntary inhalations of air. These inhalations trigger the vocal chords to snap shut to close off the airflow, causing the "hiccup" sound. The spasms can repeat once every few seconds to every few minutes. In some cases medical attention is called for, but in most cases, they go away by themselves. If you don’t care to wait it out, one of the following home remedies might bring relief.

According to medical experts, it isn’t clear what triggers hiccups, though there are many conditions people commonly associate with causing them. Eating too fast, swallowing air and drinking too much are all suspect. Some medical professionals believe that when the stomach becomes distended from too much food or drink it might irritate the adjacent diaphragm, leading to it to spasm.

Whatever the cause, experts do know why some home remedies work. Some remedies increase carbon dioxide in the blood, which stops hiccups. Other remedies stimulate the vagus nerve that runs from stomach to brain. In both cases, the body becomes concerned with an overriding condition and abandons the spasms to tend to the more immediate matter, whether that’s clearing excess carbon dioxide from the blood, or paying attention to the over-stimulated vagus nerve. Try your own hand at these home remedies to see which one works for you.

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  • Hold your breath for five seconds then drink a glass of water without letting the breath out.
  • Breathe into a paper bag.
  • Drink a glass of water by taking the water from the opposite side of the glass, thereby “drinking upside down.”
  • Extend your tongue then pull it.
  • Put one-half teaspoon sugar at the rear of your tongue and suck on it. Repeat in two minutes for three total times. Alternately, you can try a tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • Sniff smelling salts.
  • Have someone scare you.
  • Try two antacids that contain magnesium.

Hiccups that last longer than three hours are considered chronic and might require medical intervention. Spitting up blood or the presence of severe abdominal pain also warrant medical attention.

Some medications commonly prescribed for persistent hiccups include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), baclofen (Lioresal) and phenytoin (Dilantin). In extreme cases and as a last resort, the nerve that controls the diaphragm can be surgically disabled for those suffering from prolonged, recurrent bouts of hiccuping that have been unresponsive to other treatments.

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Discuss this Article

anon301269
Post 69

I get them all the time after drinking and eating a lot. I hold my tongue and they're gone.

anon294734
Post 68

I agree with the commenter below. I haven't had a case of the hiccups for years. I hiccup once and then somehow mentally stop it by manipulating my throat. I don't know how to describe how to do it, but it always works. I believe it could probably be learned by anyone.

anon289974
Post 66

I used to get them bad, like real bad, but I've finally learned to simply control them. I'll hiccup once, then mentally prevent it from becoming an issue. Now I never ever get hiccups.

I know it's not really advice, but I do believe you all can remedy this without gagging, sugar or strange drinking methods. There's so many ways to get rid of them, that it leads me to assume they all stopped their hiccups because they believed it to work, and actually stopped them themselves.

anon286360
Post 65

To get rid of the hiccups: 1- get a bottle of water (a glass will work but not as easily)

2- put your head upside down

3-drink the water upside down

Hopefully your hiccups are gone by now!

anon279680
Post 63

Seriously. Just play the scary maze game. I didn't think it would work but it did. It scares them out of you.

anon268410
Post 61

I tried vomiting after drinking plenty of water. It works for me.

anon207838
Post 60

it worked and it really helped me.

anon206295
Post 59

I just coughed three to six times.

anon190584
Post 58

Big thanks to anon167849. Inhaled as much air as I could, and I let it out slowly. Worked the first time.

anon179065
Post 57

A friend's co-worker just had them for two weeks and what worked for him was bitters and soda or lemon. They went away immediately. That simple!

anon170931
Post 56

just don't concentrate on them. occupy yourself with running or something else. they go away after a while.

anon168009
Post 55

Have had hiccups all day. Totally filling lungs with air then letting out slowly, repeat twice, totally worked. Thanks for the heads up.

anon167849
Post 54

you people take this too seriously. There is no mess required, no water, no sugar, no nothing. Just take a deep breath. Once you've inhaled all that you can, suck in more air, then more, then more. Fill your lungs completely, thus ridding them of space to hiccup. Then hold it as long as you can and let it out slowly.

Works every time. It's science, not throwing up or peanut butter or sugar or all that other nonsense. Just science.

anon166473
Post 53

I just ate something and then it was gone. try eating a lollipop.

anon143837
Post 50

Sugar is the only thing has ever worked for me!

I take a spoon full of sugar, place it towards the back of my tongue, and let it "melt", while also inhaling through my mouth as well. Some times I do not have enough sugar, and my hiccups continue, so I just add more after a bit.

anon142359
Post 49

Drinking upside down works! thanks for the tips.

anon140782
Post 48

I just looked up articles on how to get rid of hiccups and by the second one they were gone with no help from them.

anon139820
Post 46

if you have the hiccups try drinking a cup of water with a paper towel over it. it's weird but it works.

anon128671
Post 44

What I do is hold my breath and then attempt to swallow five or more times. It works every time. No lie! Try it, it really does work!

anon128167
Post 43

Rubbing your earlobes for five seconds will work for mild cases. Usually if that doesn't work for me I'll end up having hiccups off and on for two or three days.

anon126303
Post 42

I have just been through incredibly load and frequent hiccups, they sounded like “hhuuuuuuuuuuuhhhh!” In a social/working environment they were funny at first but not after a half hour.

I tried holding my breath, later combined with swallowing as fast as I could as well as drinking water from the back of the glass while looking at the floor – these didn’t work for me.

I actually gave up thinking about them and got absorbed in some work I was supposed to be doing and they had stopped before I even realized. My suggestion is stop worrying about them and occupy your mind with something else – mind over matter baby!

anon123582
Post 41

Drinking water from the opposite side of the cup will work, but here's a better way to do it where you don't end up making a mess. Put a straw in a glass of water and then bend over and drink from the straw while your head is upside down. The act of bending over and drinking will stop the hiccups every time.

anon116774
Post 40

stick your tongue out for about 10 seconds.

anon106166
Post 37

I was feeling like I was going to vomit and I had a headache with the hiccups i just had. The holding your breath and drinking helped!

anon101936
Post 36

I was getting desperate. This had never happened to me before. I started reading all the suggestions on how to get rid of the blasted hiccups and got to the second to last posting that suggested sticking my finger down my throat and gagging myself to the point where I nearly throw up (or do throw up) and it really worked, Thank you very much.

anon101743
Post 35

I just did the not breathing and swallowing thing and it worked for me. I've done sugar before too, and it works sometimes.

anon99885
Post 34

I always fill a dixie cup with water, hold my nose and drink it. This is weird, but I got that from Jeopardy. Sometimes this takes a few tries with me.

anon94416
Post 33

holding breath and drinking water worked for me. weird.

anon93410
Post 32

If you think of a bald man and three black cats it usually works for me!

anon91705
Post 31

You can hold your nose and breath at the same time and it will go!

anon88024
Post 30

None of them worked for me.

anon86540
Post 29

Held my breath for five seconds then drank a glass of water and it worked. Thanks!

anon86262
Post 28

Oh thanks! holding your breath for five seconds and then drinking water really works.Thanks because I was really getting mad about it.

anon78377
Post 27

I did the tongue one and it worked. So weird.

anon77232
Post 26

Nothing works for me! I'm going to try again!

anon75589
Post 24

drink water from the other side of the cup.

anon74593
Post 23

I tried not breathing (it only took like five seconds) and swallowing. It worked.

anon73322
Post 21

A glass of water works more than you can think. thanks for saving us!

anon71423
Post 20

i just had the hiccups and when i was going to try to do the drinking water one, i put too much water so i drank some and they were gone!

it is so much easier to do my homework now.

anon69656
Post 19

I know it sounds weird, but drink a few sips of water when someone is covering your ears. it really works

anon62833
Post 18

I did the holding breath for five seconds and then drinking a glass of water and it worked instantly. Thanks. (:

anon60182
Post 17

I'm seventeen and I have the hiccups right now, but I remembered my friend trying to coach me. that works. Or I jump up and down, and act like a kangaroo or a rabbit, and they sometimes leave.

:P

anon59631
Post 16

ice cubes work! thanks whoever said that one. :)

anon50340
Post 15

walk up to the person an tell them that you can make them stop hiccuping. Ask them to look you in the eyes. Tell them to hiccup now! Right this minute! Continue to tell them like you are a coach. Cheer them on like "c'mon! do it! hiccup! make yourself hiccup right now! Try harder! c'mon you can do it!" They will discover that they can't make themselves hiccup on command. Cured!

anon49346
Post 14

Be in a quiet room and really focus! So hold your breath and think of someone you think is talking about you!

anon48677
Post 13

i got a headache from these hiccups and nothin works.

anon48159
Post 12

stand upside down and hold you breath.

anon47047
Post 11

ok thank you whoever said to hold your breath and drink h2o. it totally worked. going to bed thanks to ya!

anon46650
Post 10

Thank you so much for these methods.I feel better now.

anon46204
Post 9

Peanut butter is the one. Try it.

anon43496
Post 8

all you have to do is eat a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter.

anon41783
Post 7

i have no idea what you guys said during your little definition of hiccups but the remedies worked!

anon35728
Post 6

A teaspoon of baking soda in water is what I used all through school (got it from the cafeteria ladies) so I didn't interrupt class. Teachers would send me off at first hiccup because they knew it would only get worse and make teaching impossible for the whole class.

As an adult, I use Tums or something equivalent. Usually it takes 3-5 regular strength or 2-3 extra strength tablets to cure them. If they aren't gone in two minutes, I eat two more until they are gone. And usually does it for the day, with no repeat episodes.

anon33880
Post 5

when i have hiccups i just put a spoon of sugar in some water and drink it and most of the time that helps. or i put a paper towel over a glass of water and drink it. at first that one can be hard and the water spills sometimes but it almost always gets rid of my hiccups.

anon32287
Post 4

Peanut butter always works for me.

anon31282
Post 3

yuck! don't throw up! try a spoonful of peanut butter first!

msltul
Post 2

I sometimes get the hiccups and they will not go away without intervention. I have had this problem with them for the last twenty years (I am 46 in 2008). The only thing that is guaranteed to work for me every time is sticking my finger down my throat and gagging myself to the point where I nearly throw up (or do throw up). This may take 8 or 9 tries. Usually though it works in 3 or 4.

anon12445
Post 1

thank you so much for these methods!

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