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Chronic hiccups

Other Names for this Disease
  • Hiccups, intractable
  • Intractable hiccups
  • Intractable singultus
  • Persistent hiccups
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Chronic hiccups are hiccups that persist for a long period of time or recur frequently over an extended period of time.[1][2] A hiccup is an unintentional movement (spasm) of the diaphragm, the muscle at the base of the lungs. The spasm is followed by the rapid closure of the vocal cords, which produces a distinctive sound.[3][1] Hiccups often start for no apparent reason and usually disappear after a few minutes.[3] Hiccups that last for more than two days and less than a month are sometimes called persistent or protracted hiccups. On rare occasions, hiccups persist even longer than a month or recur frequently over an extended period of time, and are called intractable hiccups.[1][2] Intractable hiccups are difficult to treat and often indicate the presence of another medical problem.[1][4][5]
Last updated: 6/21/2013


  1. Hiccups, Chronic. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  2. Wilkes G. Hiccups. eMedicine. July 2010; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  3. Vorvick L. Hiccups. MedlinePlus. January 2011; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  4. Cabane J. Chronic hiccup. Orphanet. 2004; Accessed 11/28/2011.
  5. What Causes Hiccups?. KidsHealth from Nemours. October 2011; Accessed 11/28/2011.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chronic hiccups. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

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