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December 23, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(26):2323-2324. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800510045013

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The last ten years has seen a remarkable development in our knowledge of the endocrines. Especially great strides have been made in the therapeutic application of sex hormones, notably the estrogenic substances. Pure highly potent preparations of estrogens are being manufactured. Furthermore, biochemists are constantly striving to discover new compounds of even greater activity or to increase the efficiency of those already known. Pharmaceutic chemists are looking for better preparations which may be protected by patent. Much attention has been given to the preparation of estrogens for oral use, since the advantages of such therapy over hypodermic administration are appreciable.

Two new compounds—ethinyl estradiol and diethyl-stilbestrol—have been used clinically in recent months and have been shown to be as effective as the injected estrogens in moderate doses. General acceptance of these compounds has been prevented by complaints of disagreeable symptoms following their ingestion. Ethinyl estradiol induced in a considerable percentage

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