Experimental studies on the activity and toxicity of stilbestrol

Caution prior DES approval was emphasized in 1941…

1941 Study Abstract

The chemical name for a new synthetic estrogenic substance frequently referred to as diethylstilbestrol is ′,′-dihydroxy-a-b-diethylstilbene.

Discovered by Dodds and coworkers in 1937, it immediately aroused keen interest and in the few years following his discovery a large number of publications have appeared discussing the specific and toxic effects of this drug in animals and man.

In a preliminary report the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association on the basis of certain investigations recommended that the outcome of further investigations should be awaited before official approval of this drug and its inclusion in our medical armamentarium.

We have been interested in the various phases of activity and toxicity of stilbestrol for the past year and have conducted numerous animal experiments which in part tend to confirm observations already made, in part to add new data to our knowledge.


  • EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON THE ACTIVITY AND TOXICITY OF STILBESTROL, Endocrine Society, Endocrinology doi.org/10.1210/endo-28-2-263, Volume 28, Issue 2, Pages 263–273, 1 February 1941.
  • Feature image rob walsh.

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