OTHER NAMES: Stilphostrol, Stilbestrol or Diethylstilbestrol

Why is this drug prescribed?
Diethylstilbestrol is similar to estrogen, a hormone produced by the body. It is prescribed for prostate cancer.

When should it be used?
Diethylstilbestrol usually is taken one to three times a day. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask us or your pharmacist to explain any part that you do not understand.

How should it be used?
Diethylstilbestrol comes in tablets. Ask us or your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. When taken for prostate cancer, the drug is usually taken indefinitely.

What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?
Ask us or your pharmacist for a copy of the patient instructions. Keep all appointments with us.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. 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.

What side effects can this drug cause? What can I do about them?

  • Nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, appetite and weight changes
    Eat a light snack if you experience nausea. If these effects persist or are severe, contact us.
  • Brown or black skin patches; swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs (fluid retention); breast tenderness, enlargement, or secretion; intolerance to contact lenses
    Contact us if these effects are bothersome.
  • 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, or coughing up of blood; calf pain; severe abdominal pain; yellowing of skin or eyes; itching; loss of appetite; severe mental depression; unusual bleeding
    Contact us immediately if you experience any of these effects.

What precautions should I follow while using this drug?
Before you take diethylstilbestrol, tell us your entire medical history (including family medical history), especially high blood pressure; diabetes; asthma; epilepsy (seizures); migraine headaches; liver, heart, or kidney disease; mental depression. Diethylstilbestrol may affect the way your body responds to certain other drugs. Tell us what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking. 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.