Bottle of Stilboestrol tablets, London, England, c.1960-1970

1960-1970 in London
Organon International

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Bottle of Stiboestrol tablets, by Organon Laboratories Ltd., London. Full view, one tablet alongside bottle. Graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Glass bottle of Stilboestrol tablets, by Organon Laboratories Ltd., London

Stilboestrol belongs to a group of medicines called synthetic, or man-made, oestrogens. This naturally occurring hormone is produced by the body. Along with progesterone it is vital for reproduction. Stilboestrol is now used to fight specific cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer. However, from 1938 the drug was prescribed to women to prevent miscarriages. It was largely unsuccessful. It was banned for this purpose in 1971 in Aus-tralia and the US.

Stilboestrol remains controversial. Studies suggest girls exposed to the drug in-utero (when their mothers were pregnant) have an increased chance of developing ovarian and cervical cancers. This glass bottle of Stilboestrol tablets was manufactured by Organon Laboratories Limited in London.


Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
glass and metal
tablet bottle
  • drug
  • drug

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