List of Deadly Prescription Drug Cocktail

Brittany Murphy Prescription Drugs FoundBrittany Murphy was found dead in her home days before Christmas. While the talented actress was rushed to the hospital, revival efforts failed and she apparently died of heart failure.

Toxicology reports are still forthcoming, but the discovery of prescription drugs at her nightstand raises the possibility that a mix of these drugs may have had a hand in her untimely death.

“Many of these drugs are not only highly addictive, but are deadly if combined,” comments Mary Rieser, Executive Director for Narconon Drug Rehab Georgia. “Many people don’t realize the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and whether her doctors knew she was combining these potentially lethal drugs is a question that should be answered. The drugs found are very powerful, often affecting different parts of the body, often with tragic results.”

Found at Brittany Murphy’s nightstand were, as reported by TMZ:

  • Topamax, an anti-seizure medication.
  • Klonopin and Ativan, benzodiazepine drugs which are used as ant-anxiety medications.
  • Vicoprofen and Hydrocodone, pain medications both similar to heroin and morphine in their pain-relieving (and addictive) properties.
  • Fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, a depression medication
  • Propranolol, a hypertension medication.

“Ordinarily, this list of drugs would sound quite benign, however a closer look at these drugs reveals this combination of drugs to be quite deadly,” comments Ms. Rieser.

“One side effect of Vicoprofen is hypertension, which would explain the presence of Propranolol to combat this hypertension.

“However, another side effect of Vicoprofen and Hydrocodone, which are powerful pain relievers, is heart palpitations, and mixing these with benzodiazepines such as Klonopin and Ativan has been known to cause heart attacks, heart failure, as well as respiratory distress, pulmonary failure, liver or kidney failure, jaundice, amnesia, seizures, blackouts, and coma. These painkillers have also been known to cause severe drug addiction similar to heroin addiction.”

Many celebrities have succumbed to prescription drug abuse, whether they died of an accidental overdose or used prescription drugs combined with alcohol, or street drugs such as cocaine and heroin, the fact remains that prescription drug abuse is rampant. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2008, 15.2 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription medicine for non-medical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.

If Brittany Murphy’s toxicology results are positive for drug abuse, she will be the latest in a long line of celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Dana Plato, Keith Moon, Anna Nicole Smith, Elvis Presley, Heath Ledger, DJ AM, Margaux Hemingway, Howard Hughes, and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few, that could not break the habit of abusing pills.

What can we do about this?

“Be aware that prescription drugs, while helpful when used correctly, can also be quite addictive,” comments Mary Rieser of the Narconon Drug Rehab. “Teach children that prescription drugs are dangerous and not to take them unless prescribed by a doctor. Be aware of the signs of drug abuse and get help if someone you know is addicted.

“Be safe in the New Year and get help if needed. No one needs to die from prescription drug overdoses if we look out for one another. “

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