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Chemo hiccups

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi there. Decadron (a steroid) and the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists (Emend, Kytril, Zofran and ramosetron) used for nausea against Cisplatin can cause persistent hiccups.

Anyone here have that problem? Yesterday I had them for 3.5 hours before a bit of Maalox finally got rid of them. Got them now and I gotta go to the rad appointment. If I'm hiccuping they'll cancel the appt. ARGH!

Any ideas?

Best,

Mick

catya88's picture
catya88
Posts: 50
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Mick

Hiccups are annoying. Tim didn't start getting hiccups until his last week of treatment, which was last week. They came and went throughout the day. Tim also had the Cisplatin and radiation, for 7 weeks.

Right now he is in pain and in the hospital for pain management.

This didn't help but thought I would tell you anyway.

Cathy

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6122
Joined: Apr 2009

Can’t say I remember having a problem with hiccups, it may be a side affect of one of the chemo’s. You are right if you are having hiccups let rad doc know, you don’t want that beam hitting you in the wrong area of the head.

I hope this goes a way for you as it might gives you even more problems down the line when you are in the middle of treatment.

All the best to you my friend

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

I had the hiccups last night right up until they strapped the mask on and started the scans. Suddenly they stopped. Call it what you want lol. I don't know if I said it here yet but my treatment started on Ash Wednesday and is scheduled to end on Good Friday! What does that say for an old atheist like me? LOL! My son called to remind me he is 33 this year. Too funny. I'm in the cave with Jesus I guess, metaphorically speaking ;-)

Anyway today I feel a bit better and will get out of bed. The chemo really tired me out and the hiccups were troubling.

Best,

Mick

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

I had the hiccups during treatment and the doc prescribed Lorazepam. It was like a miracle drug: The hiccups stopped almost immediately. I still have the leftover pills.

--Jim in Delaware

MaryRC's picture
MaryRC
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2010

I am glad your hiccups stopped Mick. I found your blog online and added it too my favorites.
I am still feeling so tired and I havent even had surgery yet. I dont know if it is depression or I am just lazy.
I have people calling me and signing up for my rides to radiation and chemo! Told them it will be a few weeks yet.
My husband is still in denial I think. He said that I wont need a feeding tube that I am just thinking the worse possible things. I told him if I need the tube I will get the tube, better then starving and I am a nurse, I can take care of my own. Plus it wont be in forever!
Mary

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 533
Joined: Apr 2009

Yes Mick, I had three rounds of high dose cisplatin and every time I would get the hiccups, Doc said if it bothered me too much he would give me something for it but it never got that bad would last for about 2 hours or so. I had 35 rounds rads as well, my side effects never got too bad, did not cause me to stay in bed. Mary, get the peg it will save your life. Denis

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2193
Joined: Nov 2009

Mary,
Glad to hear you've got folks ready to drive you to treatments. That's already a blessing, whether you need someone to drive you or not (just past 1/2 way on rads - I can still drive myself, but did need a ride on the 3 induction chemo days, because the Benadryl they gave me made me really drowsy).
On the PEG, even though I resent having it, I know it was a good decision for me (especially now that I need it). Some of my family members spoke out against me getting something without knowing if I'd even need it ("those people on the internet are probably complainers - just because they said they had to have it doesn't mean you will"). I guess your husband wants to think you'll have the easiest road to recovery imaginable, and won't go through all the suffering that some people here have had to endure. I hope he's right.

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

Hey Jim. Ativan (Lorazepam) is on my list as an anti-emetic (and an anti-anxiety), but it did not help with hiccups. I bit the bullet and went without the anti-nausea drugs today and no hiccups. The research I found on this phenomenon said it occurs almost exclusively in men and is related to the chemo drug's (cisplatin in my case) reaction to the nausea inhibitors. Turns out if you get the hiccups you are less likely to have nausea, so I took the chance today.

Best,

Mick

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6122
Joined: Apr 2009

That’s what you get when too many Christian start praying for you! lol….I am glad to see you still have your sense of humor my friend. There is another new post here who is a 8year survivor of NPC, I am very glad too see more and more people coming on CSN to help out the others just starting.

Take care

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

That is interesting. I had Cisplatin, too. The Lorazepam knocked the hiccups right out of me and they never came back, so I stayed on the anti-nausea med (Emend). However, they also had given me steroids as part of the chemo regimen, and for some reason they boosted my blood sugar level to diabetic levels. They discontinued the steroids and the blood sugar came back down. The Emend alone was enough to keep the nausea at bay. But if you can do it without meds, more power to you.

--Jim in Delaware

fbcuthguy
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2010

I finish on Good Friday too. I told the youth I work with that I was giving up my "normal" life for Lent! I had crazy hiccups for 2 days after the first mega dose of cisplatin on Monday. They finally resolved themselves. I found that if I didn't talk, I didn't start back. So I just didn't talk before radiation for 2 days.

I'm on the same anti-nausea regimen as you as well, so I'll look into adjusting that if I have more problems.

Rob

kyle2956
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

I had them the next day or so after all 3 of my Cisplatins. Annoying but better than Naussea. Etc. I have my last 37th radiation tomorrow. I have lost 20 lbs. but refused the PEG. I'm glad I did. I have an aversion about stomachs. It's in my head I know. But so far I beefed up on Myoplex and alike and it has worked.

MaryRC's picture
MaryRC
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2010

You said you didnt get the Peg tube. So you must be able to take nutrition by mouth? I am glad you are about finished with your radiation.
I havent even had surgery yet, will be on the 29th of March.
Mary

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

Mick, I cannot believe you had hiccups for 3.5 hours. I had them once for 45 minutes, and I thought that was torture. Never mind going thru what you are and having hiccups. I think when I get them now, they hurt worse with the peg tube. Hope you don't get them anymore. Eee. That is miserable. Can you send me the link to your blog? I would like to read it. You really write well.

DominicM's picture
DominicM
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2010

Good tips out there...
Just had my first round of cisplatin and started IMRT....severe nausea on day 2 so docs added two more meds, now I have had hiccups all day (day 3) and am getting pretty bad heartburn....will try the Lorazapam (ativan) if it doesn't resolve soon and will call the doc in the morning

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8164
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome to the forum Dominic....

See if they can get you EMEND for your nausea if you are having the big doses of multiple chemo drugs.

I also had hiccups and indigestion, increased acid reflux, they gave me Protinix..not sure if that was also for the hiccups, but for sure indigestion....

Best,
John

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6122
Joined: Apr 2009

Just to second what John said, Welcome here to CSN, glad to have you with us

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8164
Joined: Sep 2009

Mis-spelled....

james chambliss's picture
james chambliss
Posts: 70
Joined: May 2010

I had the damn things for 7 days, non-stop. Couldn't sleep, couldn't go more than a few minutes in between. They still strapped me down for Rads. They were throwing everything at it. They said they had never seen anyone with such a bad case. Then they gave me ( Lorazapan )
They were gone with in 24 hours. Though i was quit a mess with that drug. It was funny to everyone who saw me, but i was out of my mind. It was worth it though.

Regards,

James

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

That stuff worked for me, too. I think the doc prescribed something like two dozen tablets, but I'd only taken maybe five or six and the hiccups were gone.

--Jim in Delaware

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2010

It seems to hit men worse - hiccups might be caused or worsened by decadron, but skipping the decadron is pretty hard. They are supposed to fade by day 3. Our docs tried Thorazine with Doug as it can help with hiccups and is also an antinausea drug - you can't mix it with ativan, however (it does have less of a sedative effect, which is why they tried it first - Doug was still working).

He had the bad heartburn also - we did Priolosec and it really didn't help. In the end, they put him on Reglan - it takes several days for it to start to work, and you should not take it for more than 6 weeks or so. It has some serious possible side effects (most reversible but not all) so it is not an easy choice. For Doug, it is likely (in combination with the decadron) what got him to stop throwing up, stop having reflux, and start digesting food again.

Otherwise, the time-honored cure both for hiccups and heartburn: small sips of water constantly, don't eat too much at one time, consider sleeping with your head elevated (like in a recliner, rather than a bed).

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