Generic Name : DIETHYLSTILBESTROL
Pronunciation : (dye eth il stil bess' trole)
Trade Name(s) : DES, Stilphostrol
Why it is prescribed: Estrogen is needed for normal growth and development of female sex organs and for natural functions such as bearing children. Diethylstilbestrol is similar to estrogen, a hormone produced by the body. Diethylstilbestrol is used to relieve feelings of warmth in the face, neck, and chest; and sweating that occurs during menopause. It is also used for conditions caused by insufficient estrogen including dry, itchy external genitals and vaginal irritation. It is also prescribed for young women who do not mature physically at the usual rate and for breast and prostate cancers.
When it is to be taken: Diethylstilbestrol is usually taken on a cyclical basis: once a day for 21 days and then none for seven days; then the cycle is repeated. However, for cancer it is usually taken three times a day continuously for three months or longer. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully.
How it should be taken: Diethylstilbestrol comes in the form of tablets. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
Special Instruction :
1. Ask your doctor for a copy of the patient instructions.
2. You should have a complete physical examination annually. Ask your doctor to teach you how to examine your breasts; report any lumps immediately.
3. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if you remember a missed dose near the time you are scheduled to take the next dose, take only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.
Side Effects :
1. Nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating, appetite and weight changes can occur. Eat a light snack if you experience nausea. If these effects persist or severe, contact your doctor.
2. Brown or black skin patches; swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs; bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods; changes in menstrual flow; painful or missed menstrual periods; breast tenderness, enlargement or secretion; intolerance to contact lenses. Contact your doctor if these effects are bothersome.
3. Sudden, severe headache or vomiting; vision or speech problems; sudden partial or complete loss of vision; dizziness or faintness; weakness or numbness of an arm or leg; sharp, crushing chest pain or heaviness in chest; sudden shortness of breath; cough; severe abdominal pain; yellowing of skin or eyes; itching; loss of appetite; severe mental depression; unusual bleeding. Contact your doctor immediately.
Other Precautions :
1. Before you take diethylstilbestrol, tell your doctor your entire medical history, including family medical history, especially breast lumps and cancer; high blood pressure; diabetes: asthma; epilepsy; migraine headaches; liver, heart, or kidney disease; mental depression; high blood pressure during pregnancy; jaundice during pregnancy; and excessive weight gain and fluid retention during the menstrual cycle.
2. Diethylstilbestrol may affect the way your body responds to certain other drugs. Tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking.
3. Before having surgery, tell the doctor that you take diethylstilbestrol. Before having any laboratory tests, tell the laboratory personnel and doctor that you take diethylstilbestrol.
4. Do not take diethylstilbestrol if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, stop taking it and contact your doctor.
5. Diethylstilbestrol can harm an unborn baby.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children.
2. Store it at room temperature.