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Persistent hiccups after a stroke
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4165360655 posted:
My husband just suffered a mild, cerebellum stroke that affected his balance. There were no other adverse affects except for hiccups. His doctor is not prescribing anything for them but they are keeping him awake at night and he will sleep when they subside, but wakes when they kick in again. They continue while eating but with a longer period between a hiccup. Depending on when this gets answered, we are in our 2nd day after the stroke and am in the hospital at this writing. Please advise, especially if they continue after being discharged.
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Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
Hiccups are not uncommon after a stroke in the lower ( brainstem and cerebellum) part of the brain. They can be very annoying but usually decrease in intensity and go away over time. There are a number of strategies and medications use to try and control the hiccups.

First,it is important to make sure that there is not a problem in the lungs or stomach that is causing the hiccups. The brain is the most likely source, but it doesn't hurt to rule out these areas source of the hiccups. Although, there are no special medicines for hiccups, we have found that a variety of medications can help people with chronic hiccups.

Since it is still early in your husband's stroke, his doctor may be hesitant to try these medications. However, if his hiccups persist you might ask about the use of such medications as: gabapentin, baclofen, haloperidol, and carbamazepine. This is truly the art of medicineand you will need a doctor who is willing to try different medications. Most neurologists should have experience in treating patients like your husband.

Good luck.
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.


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Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He did his undergraduate and medic...More

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