Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why have I had the hiccups for the last 24hrs?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy have I had the hiccups for the last 24hrs?


They haven't stopped for the last 24hrs


I recommend that you speak with your primary care doctor. Hiccups are almost always due to some type of phrenic nerve irritation. The phrenic nerve is a the nerve that is responsible for diaphragm contraction. The nerve arises from the cervical spine in travels on both sides of the chest down to both sides of the diaphragm. When the nerve becomes irritated, from either physical contact or some other irritant, then it can sometimes fire inappropriately. This causes the diaphragm to contract in appropriately usually only on one side at a time. The contraction is not a long controlled contraction like you would get with you when you took a deep breath, it is more like a sudden short contraction. While hiccups are usually due to a minor infection or some other irritation such as aspiration, hiccups that last more than 24 hours sometimes do deserve a workup. The workup for hiccups usually involves a chest x-ray. Which her doctors are looking for is some type of mass or area of abnormality near the phrenic nerve that might be responsible for these findings. If nothing is found, then your doctors can help suppress your pickups using medications. The best medication for this in my opinion is Thorazine, but it is important to speak with your primary care doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.