for people ages 18-100 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Anthony Kim
Photo of Anthony Kim
Anthony Kim



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the antipyretic effect of bromocriptine in critically-ill patients with acute neurologic injury and fever from infectious and non-infectious etiologies.

Official Title

Efficacy of Bromocriptine to Reduce Body Temperature in Febrile Critically-ill Adults With Acute Neurologic Disease: an Open-label, Blinded Endpoint, Randomized Controlled Trial


In patients with acute neurologic injury such as subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), traumatic brain injury (TBI), subdural hematoma (SDH), and ischemic stroke, fever has been found to be an independent predictor of poor outcome including increased mortality rates, longer hospital stays, depressed level of consciousness, and worse functional outcomes. Our current antipyretic therapy of acetaminophen and sometimes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not very effective and external cooling requires sedatives and other medications to prevent shivering and pain. Bromocriptine is a dopamine D2 receptor agonist which acts at the hypothalamus, a specific area of the brain that regulates body temperature. Fevers of both central and infectious etiologies must be regulated through the hypothalamus and we have evidence that bromocriptine has an antipyretic effect at the hypothalamus; thus, we hypothesize that bromocriptine could be used safely and more broadly to treat all fevers in the acute setting and not just refractory central fevers in this patient population. Here, we propose to evaluate the acute antipyretic effects of bromocriptine in this critically-ill population through a pilot, open label, blinded endpoint, randomized controlled trial. In both enrolling centers, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center Parnassus (UCSF) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, every patient who is admitted to the neurointensive care unit for an anticipated stay of greater than 48 hours with a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), traumatic brain injury (TBI), subdural hematoma (SDH), and ischemic stroke will be screened and consented. If they have a temperature reading ≥ 38.3 ºC, the investigational pharmacy will randomize them to the control arm of acetaminophen or the intervention arm of acetaminophen and bromocriptine for 48 hours. We will continuously measure their temperature and other vitals data. Retrospectively, we will review imaging and labs ordered to work up infectious etiologies of fever. The ICU nurse will do a 5 minute assessment every shift during the 48 hour study period for side effects. The temperature data will be analyzed between the two study arms.


Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Subdural Hematoma Traumatic Brain Injury Ischemic Stroke Fever Intracerebral Hemorrhage central fever neurogenic fever hyperthermia bromocriptine SAH SDH ICH TBI Brain Injuries Brain Injuries, Traumatic Cerebral Hemorrhage Hematoma, Subdural Hemorrhage Hematoma Acetaminophen


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-100

  • age ≥18 years old
  • weight ≥ 40 kg
  • one reading of body temperature ≥ 38.3 ºC
  • diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, subdural hematoma, or ischemic stroke
  • admission to the Intensive Care Unit at UCSF Medical Center or Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

You CAN'T join if...

  • bromocriptine or acetaminophen hypersensitivity or allergy
  • known contraindication to bromocriptine- known ergot alkaloid hypersensitivity, known history of syncopal migraine
  • contraindication to nasogastric tube or swallowing pills
  • current diagnosis of acute liver failure, acute liver injury, or prior diagnosis of cirrhosis. acute presentation (< 26 weeks), evidence of coagulation abnormality: international normalized ratio (INR) ≥ 2; evidence of liver damage: alanine aminotransferase (ALT) of 10 x normal value; and any degree of mental status alteration
  • currently being treated with intra or extravascular therapeutic hypothermia - or where therapeutic hypothermia treatment is anticipated during study period
  • hyperthermic syndromes: heat stroke, evidence of thyrotoxicosis, malignant hyperthermia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, or other drug-induced hyperthermia
  • administration of acetaminophen or acetaminophen containing medications within 9 hours prior to fever presentation
  • administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) within 6 hours prior to fever presentation or aspirin > 300mg less than 1 hour prior to fever presentation.
  • pregnancy
  • extracorporeal blood circuit therapies: replacement therapy, extracorporeal life support (ventricular assist device, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) during study period
  • anticipated ICU stay < 48 hours'
  • creatinine clearance ≤ 30
  • severe cardiovascular disease (especially unstable angina or severe valvular disease)
  • patients already taking bromocriptine for other indications


  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
    San Francisco California 94110 United States
  • University of California, San Francisco Medical Center - Parnassus
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Anthony Kim
    Dr. Kim is associate professor of neurology and leads ongoing quality improvement and clinical innovation efforts as medical director of the UCSF Stroke Center. He treats both inpatients and outpatients with a variety of cerebrovascular disorders including stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and TIA.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Phase 1/2
Study Type
Last Updated