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Open Access Research

Baclofen for stroke patients with persistent hiccups: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Cuie Zhang1, Ruifen Zhang1, Shuangyan Zhang12*, Meiling Xu1 and Shuyan Zhang1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China

2 Department of Neurology, Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, No.37 Yiyuan Street, Nangang District, Harbin Heilongjiang Province 150001, China

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Trials 2014, 15:295  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-295

Published: 22 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The results of preclinical studies suggest that baclofen may be useful in the treatment of stroke patients with persistent hiccups. This study was aimed to assess the possible efficacy of baclofen for the treatment of persistent hiccups after stroke.

Methods

In total, 30 stroke patients with persistent hiccups were randomly assigned to receive baclofen (n = 15) or a placebo (n = 15) in a double-blind, parallel-group trial. Participants in the baclofen group received 10 mg baclofen 3 times daily for 5 days. Participants assigned to the placebo group received 10 mg placebo 3 times daily for 5 days. The primary outcome measure was cessation of hiccups. Secondary outcome measures included efficacy in the two groups and adverse events.

Results

All 30 patients completed the study. The number of patients in whom the hiccups completely stopped was higher in the baclofen group than in the placebo group (relative risk, 7.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.91–25.62; P = 0.003). Furthermore, efficacy was higher in the baclofen group than in the placebo group (P < 0.01). No serious adverse events were documented in either group. One case each of mild transient drowsiness and dizziness was present in the baclofen group.

Conclusions

Baclofen was more effective than a placebo for the treatment of persistent hiccups in stroke patients.

Trial registration

Chinese Clinical Trials Register: ChiCTR-TRC-13004554

Keywords:
Baclofen; Stroke; Hiccups: Randomized controlled trial