Ischemic stroke is a common neurological disorder lacking a cure. Recent studies show that therapeutic hypothermia is a promising neuroprotective strategy against ischemic brain injury. Several methods to induce therapeutic hypothermia have been established; however, most of them are not clinically feasible for stroke patients. Therefore, pharmacological cooling is drawing increasing attention as a neuroprotective alternative worthy of further clinical development. We begin this review with a brief introduction to the commonly used methods for inducing hypothermia; we then focus on the hypothermic effects of eight classes of hypothermia-inducing drugs: the cannabinoids, opioid receptor activators, transient receptor potential vanilloid, neurotensins, thyroxine derivatives, dopamine receptor activators, hypothermia-inducing gases, adenosine, and adenine nucleotides. Their neuroprotective effects as well as the complications associated with their use are both considered. This article provides guidance for future clinical trials and animal studies on pharmacological cooling in the setting of acute stroke.