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Palliat Med. 2013 Mar;27(3):284-5. doi: 10.1177/0269216312448508. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Continuous subcutaneous infusion of lidocaine for persistent hiccup in advanced cancer.

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Department of Palliative Care Unit, Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Hospital, Japan.


Persistent hiccup can cause anorexia, weight loss, disabling sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, relief of persistent hiccup is important for advanced cancer patients and their family. Most reports on this condition are case series reports advocating the use of baclofen, haloperidol, gabapentin, and midazolam. However, these medications are occasionally ineffective or accompanied by intolerable side effects. The sodium channel blocker lidocaine has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of disorders thought to involve neuropathic mechanisms. Intravenous administration of lidocaine is common but efficacy has also been reported for subcutaneous infusion. In advanced cancer patients, subcutaneous infusion is easy, advantageous, and accompanied by less discomfort. We report a case of severe and sustained hiccup caused by gastric cancer that was successfully treated with a continuous subcutaneous infusion of lidocaine (480 mg (24 ml)/day) without severe side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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