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Drug nameDiethylstilbestrol
DescriptionA synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen used in the treatment of menopausal and postmenopausal disorders. It was also used formerly as a growth promoter in animals. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), diethylstilbestrol has been listed as a known carcinogen. (Merck, 11th ed)
DrugBankPrimary Accession Number: DB00255
TypeApproved, Small Molecule
IndicationUsed in the treatment of prostate cancer. Previously used in the prevention of miscarriage or premature delivery in pregnant women prone to miscarriage or premature delivery.
Mechanism of ActionEstrogens diffuse into their target cells and interact with a protein receptor. Target cells include the female reproductive tract, the mammary gland, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary. Estrogens increase the hepatic synthesis of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), thyroid-binding globulin (TBG), and other serum proteins and suppress follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the anterior pituitary. The combination of an estrogen with a progestin suppresses the hypothalamic-pituitary system, decreasing the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
AbsorptionNot available
ToxicitySymptoms of overdose include nausea and vomiting, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.
Protein BindingNot available