for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Nida Qadir(ucla)



The VItamin C, Thiamine And Steroids in Sepsis (VICTAS) Study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, adaptive randomized clinical trial designed to investigate the efficacy of the combined use of vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids versus indistinguishable placebos for patients with sepsis. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the efficacy of combination therapy using vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids in reducing mortality and improving organ function in critically ill patients with sepsis.

Official Title

A Multi-center, Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Adaptive Clinical Trial of Vitamin C, Thiamine and Steroids as Combination Therapy in Patients With Sepsis.


Sepsis is an inflammatory syndrome with life threatening organ dysfunction resulting from a dysregulated host response to infection. The global burden is estimated to exceed 15 million cases annually. In the United States, the incidence is increasing and currently there are more 1,750,000 cases each year, with more than half requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Further, sepsis cases account for 30%- 50% of all hospital deaths, making it the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, and is the most expensive reason for hospitalization with annual expenditures exceeding $20 billion. Notably, even among those that do survive, many endure significant reductions in physical, emotional and cognitive quality of life. New therapeutic approaches to reduce the high morbidity and mortality of sepsis are needed.

Current management strategies focus on early aggressive fluid resuscitation, blood pressure support with vasopressors, early appropriate antibiotics, and the identification and control of infected sites. Though outcomes have improved with the bundled deployment of these strategies, mortality remains high at 20 - 30%. Despite over a hundred phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials of pharmacological agents with the potential to improve sepsis outcomes, only antibiotics have demonstrated reproducible benefits.

The purpose of the current study is therefore to determine (or confirm) the efficacy of the combination therapy consisting of vitamin C, thiamine, and corticosteroids in the management of patients with circulatory and/or respiratory dysfunction resulting from sepsis. This subset of sepsis patients has been chosen because they are easily identified, have a high mortality, and consume significant critical care resources. As such, any improvements in outcomes attributed to effective therapies would be of great value to patients, as well as their care providers and healthcare systems. Further, because the promulgated therapies are composed of three inexpensive and readily available drugs, its efficacy would have important implications the management of sepsis in both well and poorly resourced settings worldwide.

The VItamin C, Thiamine And Steroids in Sepsis (VICTAS) Study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, adaptive randomized clinical trial designed to investigate the efficacy of the combined use of vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids (the Treatment Protocol) versus indistinguishable placebos (the Control Protocol) for patients with sepsis. The trial will enroll up to 2000 participant and employs a novel endpoint that approximates a patient's risk of death based on the time spent on vasopressors or receiving respiratory support. Time spent on vasopressors or receiving respiratory support captures a patient's speed of recovery. Mortality rate is a key secondary endpoint for the trial.

Specific Aims

  1. To demonstrate the efficacy of combination therapy using vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids to reduce the duration of cardiovascular and respiratory organ dysfunction in critically ill patients with sepsis.
  2. To demonstrate the efficacy of combination therapy using vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids to reduce 30-day mortality in critically ill patients with sepsis.

Explicit subject consent for participation in long term telephone follow-up will be sought for all patients at all sites. Participation in long term outcome assessments is not required for participation in other aspects of the VICTAS study, i.e., patients may individually opt out of this portion of the study. In these participants a diverse array of neurocognitive outcomes will be assessed approximately 6 months after patient discharge. Evaluations will be done using a specially-designed battery of tests that evaluates key aspects of functioning and behavior and will be administered via phone by the Vanderbilt Long-Term Outcomes team, which will serve as the coordinating center for these follow-up assessments. The battery, which takes about 40 minutes to complete, will assess cognition, mental health, quality of life, and employment - all of which have been shown to be adversely affected in between one third and two thirds of survivors of sepsis.


Sepsis Vitamin C Thiamine Corticosteroid Toxemia Vitamins Ascorbic Acid Hydrocortisone Hydrocortisone 17-butyrate 21-propionate Hydrocortisone acetate Hydrocortisone hemisuccinate


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Suspected or confirmed infection as evidenced by ordering of blood cultures and administration of at least one antimicrobial agent
  • Acute respiratory or cardiovascular organ dysfunction attributed to sepsis as evidenced by at least one of the following requirements:
  • Vasopressor Requirement - Continuous infusion of norepinephrine, epinephrine, vasopressin, dopamine, phenylephrine or other vasopressor agents at any dose for greater than 1 hour and required to maintain a mean arterial pressure ≥ 65 mm Hg despite intravenous crystalloid infusion of at least 1000cc
  • Respiratory Support Requirement - Acute hypoxemic respiratory failure defined as persistent hypoxemia ( partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ≤ 300 or blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)/FiO2 ≤ 315) requiring (1) intubation and mechanical ventilation, or (2) positive pressure ventilation via tight-fitting face mask (i.e. continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) or (3) high flow nasal cannula ≥ 45 liter per minute (LPM) flow and FiO2 ≥ 0.40
  • Anticipated or confirmed intensive care unit (ICU) admission

You CAN'T join if...

  • Organ dysfunction present > 24 hours at time of enrollment
  • Limitations of care (defined as refusal of cardiovascular and respiratory support modes described in inclusion criteria 7.1.b) including "do not intubate" (DNI) status
  • Current hospitalization > 30 days at time of randomization
  • Chronic hypoxemia requiring supplemental non-invasive oxygen (nasal cannula or NIPPV) or home mechanical ventilation
  • Chronic cardiovascular failure requiring home mechanical hemodynamic support (e.g., LVAD) or home chemical hemodynamic support (e.g., milrinone)
  • Known allergy or contraindication to vitamin C, thiamine, and/or corticosteroids (including previously or currently diagnosed primary hyperoxaluria and/or oxalate nephropathy, or nown/suspected ethylene glycol ingestion, or known glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency)
  • Currently receiving intravenous vitamin C as a treatment for sepsis OR any dose of vitamin C exceeding 1 gram daily
  • Chronic disease/illness that, in the opinion of the site investigator, have an expected lifespan of < 30 days unrelated to current sepsis diagnosis (e.g., stage IV malignancy, neurodegenerative disease, etc.)
  • Pregnancy or known active breastfeeding
  • Prisoner or Incarceration
  • Current participation in another interventional pharmaceutical research study for sepsis
  • Inability or unwillingness of subject or legal surrogate/representative to give written informed consent


  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 30322 United States
  • Duke University accepting new patients
    Durham North Carolina 90024 United States

Lead Scientist


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Emory University
Phase 3
Study Type
Last Updated