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Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Capsules (Compounded) Rx

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Diethylstilbesterol (DES) Capsules (Compounded) for Pets


Why has my veterinarian prescribed DES Capsules?

Diethylstilbestrol is a synthetic non-steroidal estrogen agent. This medication has been used in estrogen responsive urinary incontinence and to prevent pregnancy after mismating in female dogs and cats. Diethylstilbestrol may be prescribed for other conditions.


How do I give DES Capsules?

  • Give Diethylstilbesterol to your pet as directed by your veterinarian.
  • If you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, be sure to handle this medication with caution.
  • Give this medication one hour before or two hours after meals.
  • If Diethylstilbesterol is prescribed as a liquid, measure the dose carefully.
  • Depending on your pet’s response to treatment, this medication may be given once a day, once every 3-5 days, or as a weekly maintenance dose.
  • DO NOT give your pet more medicine than directed.
  • DO NOT give your pet medicine more often than prescribed.
  • Try not to miss giving any doses.


If I miss a dose, what do I do?

If you miss a dose, give it to your pet as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, then continue with the regular dosing schedule. Do not give your pet two doses at once.


How do I store DES Capsules?

Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Store this medicine at room temperature in a dry, cool place. Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight.

Do not store this medicine in damp places, in the bathroom, or near the kitchen sink. This medication can break down when exposed to moisture or heat.


What are the potential side effects of DES Capsules?

This medicine may cause some blood abnormalities. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any unusual behavior in your pet.

Other side effects may occur. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.


What about possible drug interactions?

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any other medications you are giving to your pet.

It’s not uncommon for your veterinarian to prescribe two different medications, which may cause a drug interaction to occur. If this happens, your veterinarian may change the dose and/or monitor your pet more closely.

The following drugs may interact with Diethylstilbestrol: rifampin, phenobarbital, phenylbutazone, corticosteroid agents, and oral anticoagulants.

Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences any unusual reactions when different medications are given together.




Most compounded capsules expire 20 weeks from the date prepared.  Please be advised that VetRxDirect may limit the number of capsules per order if prescribed beyond the 20 week expiration date. 

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) (Vet)

Medication Fact Sheet


Description of Medicine:

This medication is typically used to treat estrogen responsive incontinence in spayed female dogs and benign prostatic hypertrophy in male dogs. It works by acting on estrogen hormone receptors, although the compound itself is not a steroid.


Cautions and Warnings:

This medication should be used cautiously in older animals as they will be more susceptible to adverse effects. This medication is normally contraindicated in pregnancy, unless specifically prescribed by a veterinarian during pregnancy.


How to Use this Medication:

This medication is usually prescribed as 0.1-1.0 mg daily for five days. After this, the dose is usually reduced to 1-3 times per week. Dosing regimens may vary with weight and disease state.


Possible Side Effects:

Side effects are typically limited to those that are caused by excess estrogen. This includes bone marrow depression, feminization of male dogs, increased risk of pyometra (an infection of the uterus), and increased risk of estrogen-sensitive tumors. Side effects tend to be more prevalent with higher dosages and in older animals. Contact veterinarian if signs and symptoms of lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal discharge from vulva, excessive water consumption and urination, or abnormal bleeding occur.


Beyond Use Date:

  • Capsules: It is recommended that this product be used within 20 weeks.


Storage Requirement:

  • Capsules: Store at room temperature, protected from light.
  • Keep out of reach from children to avoid accidental ingestion.



1.     Plumb DC. Diethylstilbestrol. Plumb’s veterinary drug handbook. 5th ed. 2005.

2.     Papich MG. Diethylstilbestrol. Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs. 2nd 2007.

You can find a Client Information Sheet which provides a summary of information about Diethylstilbestrol by following the link below:


DES Client Information Sheet*


If you have questions or concerns about Compounded DES Capsules for Dogs, or conditions related to its use, contact your pet's veterinarian or pharmacist.


*This link opens in a new window.