FDA considers DES safe as ‘morning-after’ pill, 1973

2.5 mg of DES twice a day for 5 days…

1973 Abstract

Food and Drug Administration approval of labeling for diethylstilbestrol (DES) as a postcoital contraceptive is reported.

DES is considered safe only as an emergency contraceptive measure.

The recommended dose is 2.5 mg twice a day for 5 days.

Treatment should be initiated 24-72 hours after coitus. It is important that the full regimen be completed, even if nausea, which is common with oral DES, is present.

There is yet no evidence that DES poses a significant carcinogenic risk to the mother or the fetus. However, if treatment fails, abortion should be seriously considered because of possible teratogenic effects or carcinoma in female offspring.


  • FDA considers DES safe as ‘morning-after’ pill, JAMA Network PMID: 12257949, 1973 Jun.
  • Featured image TS Radio.

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