STILBOESTROL Bottles 1, 5, 25 mg by British Drug Houses Ltd

Diethylstilbestrol DES was sold under many names

image of stilboestrol-bottles
Diethylstilbestrol or DES was sold under many names. Image credit © Science Museum.

Diethylstilbestrol or DES was sold under many names including Distilbène®, Stilbetin®, Stilboestrol-Borne®, Benzestrol®, Chlorotrianisene®, Estrobene® and Estrosyn® to name just a few.

Many different companies manufactured and marketed this drug under more than 200 different brand names.

These bottles of Stilboestrol tablets 1, 5 and 25 mg were manufactured by: The British Drug Houses Ltd, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom.

DES drugs pictures
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Exposure to Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Child Development

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rapidly increasing in the US and worldwide

There is a growing body of evidence showing that exposure to a number of chemicals may adversely impact child development through altered endocrine function. Image Coast Guard News.

2012 Study Abstract

National Institutes of Health, PMCID: PMC3572204, doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.241, 2013 Jun 1.

Exposure to exogenous chemicals can impact endocrine function at multiple sites and through numerous specific modes of action, which may have far-reaching impacts on human health and development. Widespread human exposure to numerous known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been documented in the US and worldwide, as have trends for increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. While human epidemiology studies of exposure to EDCs and children’s health remain extremely limited, there is a growing body of evidence showing that exposure to a number of chemicals commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely impact child development through altered endocrine function. This narrative review provides a brief introduction to several common EDCs (with a specific focus on persistent organic pollutants, phthalates, bisphenol A, and contemporary use pesticides, which only represents a small number of all known or suspected EDCs), an overview of the state of the human evidence for adverse impacts of EDCs on child development (fetal growth, early reproductive tract development, pubertal development, neurodevelopment, and obesity), guidance for health care providers based on current knowledge, and recommendations for future research.

Similar studies

2/3 of IVF couples conceive by 6th cycle of treatment

Scientists say patients should not view process as a ‘single shot’ as chances of success increase with number of treatments

Recent findings support the efficacy of extending the number of IVF cycles beyond 3 or 4, as 65% of women acheived a live birth by the sixth cycle. Wellcome Images.

2015 Study Abstract

It will take two-thirds of couples undergoing IVF treatment up to six attempts to have a successful pregnancy, according to new research.

The likelihood of achieving a live birth with repeat in vitro fertilization (IVF) is unclear, yet treatment is commonly limited to 3 or 4 embryo transfers.

To determine the live-birth rate per initiated ovarian stimulation IVF cycle and with repeated cycles.

Design, Setting, and Participants
Prospective study of 156 947 UK women who received 257 398 IVF ovarian stimulation cycles between 2003 and 2010 and were followed up until June 2012.

In vitro fertilization, with a cycle defined as an episode of ovarian stimulation and all subsequent separate fresh and frozen embryo transfers.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Live-birth rate per IVF cycle and the cumulative live-birth rates across all cycles in all women and by age and treatment type. Optimal, prognosis-adjusted, and conservative cumulative live-birth rates were estimated, reflecting 0%, 30%, and 100%, respectively, of women who discontinued due to poor prognosis and having a live-birth rate of 0 had they continued.

Among the 156 947 women, the median age at start of treatment was 35 years (interquartile range, 32-38; range, 18-55), and the median duration of infertility for all 257 398 cycles was 4 years (interquartile range, 2-6; range, <1-29). In all women, the live-birth rate for the first cycle was 29.5% (95% CI, 29.3%-29.7%). This remained above 20% up to and including the fourth cycle. The cumulative prognosis-adjusted live-birth rate across all cycles continued to increase up to the ninth cycle, with 65.3% (95% CI, 64.8%-65.8%) of women achieving a live birth by the sixth cycle. In women younger than 40 years using their own oocytes, the live-birth rate for the first cycle was 32.3% (95% CI, 32.0%-32.5%) and remained above 20% up to and including the fourth cycle. Six cycles achieved a cumulative prognosis-adjusted live-birth rate of 68.4% (95% CI, 67.8%-68.9%). For women aged 40 to 42 years, the live-birth rate for the first cycle was 12.3% (95% CI, 11.8%-12.8%), with 6 cycles achieving a cumulative prognosis-adjusted live-birth rate of 31.5% (95% CI, 29.7%-33.3%). For women older than 42 years, all rates within each cycle were less than 4%. No age differential was observed among women using donor oocytes. Rates were lower for women with untreated male partner–related infertility compared with those with any other cause, but treatment with either intracytoplasmic sperm injection or sperm donation removed this difference.

Conclusions and Relevance
Among women in the United Kingdom undergoing IVF, the cumulative prognosis-adjusted live-birth rate after 6 cycles was 65.3%, with variations by age and treatment type. These findings support the efficacy of extending the number of IVF cycles beyond 3 or 4.

Sources and more information
  • Live-Birth Rate Associated With Repeat In Vitro Fertilization Treatment Cycles, The Journal of American Medical Association, doi:10.1001/jama.2015.17296, December 22/29, 2015.
  • IVF: Two-thirds of couples conceive by sixth cycle of treatment, study says, independent, 22 December 2015.

Support FDA’s Proposal to Collect More Data on Antibiotics and Distribution Information in Livestock

Livestock specific data would help us better understand how drug sales relate to antibiotic resistance on the farm that may in turn affect human health

image of pigs
FDA released a proposed rule to collect estimates from drug companies of antibiotics sold for use in pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys.

U.S. FDA, For Industry,
Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) 05/19/2015

In May 2015, the FDA issued a proposed rule to obtain more detailed information about antimicrobials sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals by including estimates of sales data by species. The additional data would improve understanding about the extent to which antimicrobials are sold or distributed for use in major food-producing species and help the FDA further target its efforts to ensure judicious use of medically important antimicrobials. It would also assist the agency in measuring the effectiveness of those efforts.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to hear from people like you

The proposed rule, if finalized, would require animal drug sponsors to submit species-specific estimates of antimicrobial sales for cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys. The proposed rule also includes a provision to improve the timeliness of FDA’s annual summary report of these sales data by requiring the FDA to publish its annual summary report of antimicrobial sales and distribution information by December 31 of the following year.

Sources and more information
  • FDA proposes rule to collect antimicrobial sales and distribution data by animal species, Additional data to help Agency further target efforts to ensure judicious use of medically important antimicrobials, FDA News, May 19, 2015.
  • Support FDA’s Proposal to Collect More Data on Antibiotics in Agriculture!, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Support FDA’s Call for Data on Antibiotics in Agriculture!, ecocenter, August 12, 2015.

Talking Toxic Chemicals: EDCs Expert Scientists urge Prevention

A global problem that need a global solution: time to act on a global scale

Video published on 1 Dec 2015 by PRHE UCSF‘s channel

Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals among women and men of reproductive age is ubiquitous and threatens healthy human reproduction.

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) World Congress attendees learned more about the science that links exposure to toxic environmental chemicals to poor health outcomes and what physicians and health care providers can do to prevent harm

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Fighting for the planet one step at a time

When Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith first started her anti-chemical work, the attacks were vicious…

image of Dr.-Mariann-Lloyd-Smith
Far right Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, representing Civil Society at the UN, centre Lloyd-Smith’s partner and co-campaigner John Wickens.

My father was by this time very sick, and when I used FOI to get his army reports, it confirmed that he’d spent seven or eight years dismantling chemical warfare stockpiles in the Pacific. It really made me stop and think about the issue of toxic chemicals, and from there it was an obvious thing to think about the international issue of chemicals

From a tiny village in the Northern Rivers to representing Civil Society at the UN, Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Advisor to the National Toxic Network, has been fighting against chemical pollution for decades – and now, she’s pleased to report, PFOA (Teflon) has been nominated for an international ban.

We’re thrilled that the EU have recently nominated PFOA, the Teflon chemical, for an international ban. PFOA contaminates every living thing in the world, and we are committed to getting it out of cookware, children’s items and clothes. It’s a terrible carcinogen, as well as a reproductive toxin and it’s a chemical that doesn’t break down.


FIGO Opinion on Reproductive Health Impacts of Exposure to Toxic Environmental Chemicals

FIGO champions environmental justice by pushing against endocrine disruptors and toxic chemicals

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals.

Publisher: International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, FIGO, December 2015.

Widespread exposure to toxic environmental chemicals threatens healthy human reproduction. Industrial chemicals are used and discarded in every aspect of daily life and are ubiquitous in food, water, air, and consumer products. Exposure to environmental chemicals and metals permeates all parts of life across the globe. Toxic chemicals enter the environment through food and energy production, industrial emissions and accidents, waste, transportation, and the making, use, and disposal of consumer and personal care products.


  • Introduction
  • Vulnerable people, communities, and populations
  • Nature and extent of prenatal and preconception exposure to toxic environmental chemicals
  • Health impacts of preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental chemicals
  • Global health and economic burden related to toxic environmental chemicals
  • Recommendation for prevention
  • Conclusions
Sources and more information

The DES Story – Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique

Social Pharmacology: Michel Tournaire, Sylvie Epelboin and Emmanuel Devouche

Smokey Sunset
The DES story is “exemplary” because it involves the different society actors: health professionals, health authorities, patients associations, media and pharmaceutical companies. Smokey Sunset.

Study Abstract

Diethylstilbestrol Story,
Pharmacologie sociale,
PMID: PubMed 24698194
2014 Jan-Feb; 69(1):101-14

This story, that has been going on for 75 years begins with an infatuation for a “miraculous” drug supposed to, according to a theory and without scientific proof of effectiveness, reduce the pregnancy complications, especially the number of miscarriages.
The next steps are painful with the discovery during the seventies, for the in utero exposed daughters, of particular cancers (clear cells adenocarcinoma) of the uterus cervix or the vagina, then during the eighties infertility and pregnancy accidents.
This story is exemplary because it involves the different society actors whose roles will be analysed: health professionals, health authorities, patients associations, media and pharmaceutical companies.
We will propose lessons for the future.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

What it means when the EU Commission delays decision for identifying dangerous EDCs

HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet speaks to Euranet Plus, the leading radio network for EU news

pregnancy image
The Commission was supposed to adopt rules setting a criteria for identifying hormone disrupting chemicals, so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by the end of 2013.

Euranet Plus Central,
December 16, 2015

The Commission breached EU law when it failed to put in place criteria for identifying hormone disrupting chemicals two years ago, says the European Court in a judgement. But despite the ruling and scientific reports saying it is urgent to act now, the EU authority will not speed up the identification of dangerous chemicals.

Listen to Lisette van Vliet of @HealthandEnv on #ECJ #EUEDC outcome via @EuranetPlus!

Press Play > to listen to the recording.

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A Toxic Affair

How the chemical lobby blocked action on hormone disrupting chemicals

The report identified a wide gap between the increasing knowledge about EDCs, and the way the EU regulates chemicals. They argued that the EU was simply not equipped with the right kind of tests to identify EDCs and pick up their effects. The report therefore recommended some measures to identify and regulate EDCs, in order to address this major threat to public health.

Publisher: Corporate Europe Observatory, May 19th 2015.

An investigation led by research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and journalist Stéphane Horel exposes corporate lobby groups mobilising to stop the EU taking action on hormone (endocrine) disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report sheds light on how corporations and their lobby groups have used numerous tactics from the corporate lobbying playbook: scaremongering, evidence-discrediting, and delaying tactics, as well as using the ongoing TTIP negotiations as a leverage. But industry’s interests were also defended by actors within the Commission.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that are present in everyday products – from plastics and cosmetics to pesticides. Because of their ability to interact with the hormonal (endocrine) systems of living organisms, they are suspected of having severe health and environmental impacts.

EU law demands action be taken on endocrine disruptors, with clear deadlines set. According to these rules, if a chemical is identified as an endocrine disruptor, a ban follows. The current approach is that chemicals are assessed following risk assessment procedures and safe levels of exposure are set accordingly. However, for endocrine disruptors it might be impossible to set such ‘safe’ levels.

The Directorate-General (DG) for the Environment of the European Commission was put in charge of establishing a set of scientific criteria for ‘what is an endocrine disruptor‘. The chemical industry lobby was up in arms at the potential banning of some EDCs. The main lobby groups involved were the chemical and pesticide lobbies (CEFIC – European Chemical Industry Council & ECPA – European Crop Protection Association), and the corporations at the forefront were BASF and Bayer. But they found allies in various member states, actors within the European Commission, and in the European Parliament.

Sources and more information