Some patients receiving corticosteroids may develop persistent hiccups. The precise mechanism is uncertain.


Clinical features:

(1) Onset of persistent hiccups in a patient receiving high dose corticosteroids, most often dexamethasone or methylprednisolone.

(2) Disappearance of hiccups on discontinuing the corticosteroid therapy. This may take from a few hours to several days.

(3) Exclusion of other causes for the persistent hiccups.


For some patients this is a dose-related effect. These patients can receive the corticosteroid but at a lower dose.


If the steroid dose cannot be decreased or discontinued, then therapy with metoclopramide or baclofen may permit continued steroid therapy.


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