Arts & Entertainment

Coroner: No comment on report deceased actress had meds on nightstand

Los Angeles County coroner's officials declined comment today after a popular entertainment Web site reported that Brittany Murphy had a large number of strong prescription medications on her nightstand at the time of her death.

The 32-year-old actress apparently went into cardiac arrest at her Hollywood Hills home on Sunday morning. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter said Monday it would be four to six weeks before the cause of her death could be determined. An autopsy was inconclusive, and toxicology tests were ordered.

Murphy was found unconscious about Sunday morning on the floor of a bathroom at the home she shared with her husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, and he called 911 to report she wasn't breathing, according to the Web site

TMZ reported today that Murphy's "there were a shocking number of strong prescription meds on Brittany's nightstand.''

TMZ reported it reviewed notes submitted by the coroner's investigator that said the actress' mother Sharon, who discovered her stricken daughter, and Monjack tried to revive her by putting her in the shower and running the water.

She "was without signs of life'' when paramedics arrived, according to TMZ. The celebrity Web site reported that the coroner's investigator wrote that Murphy "had been complaining of shortness of breath and severe abdominal pain'' for seven to 10 days prior to her death.

According to the Web site, the medications found at her bedside included Topamax, an anti-seizure medication also designed to prevent migraine headaches; Methylprednisolone, an anti-inflammatory; Fluoxetine, a medication for depression; Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication; Carbamazepine, for diabetic symptoms and a bipolar medication; Ativan, another anti-anxiety medication; Vicoprofen, a pain reliever; Propranolol, for hypertension and to prevent heart attacks; Biaxin, an antibiotic; and hydrocodone, a pain medication.

There were also various vitamins, but no alcohol containers, paraphernalia or illegal drugs, according to TMZ.

Coroner's officials declined to comment directly on the TMZ posting, but were reportedly upset that the preliminary findings of the investigator leaked out.

"The inquiry into the death is ongoing and it is the policy and practice of the Department of Coroner to only release detailed information in cases where the final cause of death has been determined and the case investigation has been completed and closed by the Deputy Medical Examiner,'' a statement released by Winter's office reads.

The coroner "will have no further comment on any information that was not officially released,'' the statement concluded.