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Brittany Murphy -- 109 Mystery Pills

2/27/2010 4:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Brittany Murphy obtained a prescription for 120 hydrocodone (Vicodin) pills 11 days before her death .... and the day she died there were only 11 pills left in the bottle ... TMZ has learned.

What's more we've learned the L.A. County Coroner's Office cannot locate the doctor who prescribed the pills and they are on the hunt to find him.

According to the Coroner's report on Murphy's death, the pills -- which we've learned were prescribed specifically to Murphy -- were supposed to be taken a maximum of 4 times a day. Yet 109 of the pills were missing from the bottle when she died. If Brittany had maxed out on the prescription, only 44 pills should have been missing.

So why were so many pills prescribed in the first place? That's what the Coroner wants to know. The doctor's name on the pill bottle is Cohen, but so far the Coroner can't locate him. A member of the Coroner's Office went to Brittany's husband, Simon Monjack, to assist them in locating the doc, but we're told Simon was no help.

The cause of Brittany Murphy's death is listed as "accidental" -- the result of pneumonia, along with prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

UPDATE: Simon Monjack contacted TMZ and says the hydrocodone prescription was not Brittany Murphy's. He says it was written for either Sharon Murphy, Brittany's mom, or himself -- he said he was unsure.

Monjack also says Dr. Cohen did not write any prescriptions for Brittany.

As for the 11 hyrdrocodone pills that remained in the prescription bottle for 120 pills -- Monjack says yesterday morning, after we published this story, he and Sharon located 73 pills from that prescription.


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Mary P    

Careful John - the confederacy won't have the guts to post under the same name to say just how wrong you are. Because you know, she HAD to be taking Vicoprofin because dozens of articles reference the same article.

And forget the report stated she had components of Vicodin (not vicoprofen)- that doesn't matter!

Aside from all that - you are absolutely and 100% correct. Glad to see someone else "gets" it and understands. What I wonder, is what the strength actually was. My Norco comes in 10/325 - could she have had a lower dose of acetaminophen in the pill that would allow her to take more? If we use the standard 500, then her max pills a day (under the 4000 rule you mentioned) 8 pills, not 4.

I don't think there's a 1000 tab out there that would restrict to 4 tabs a day. If she was on the 500's, she could still have taken 2 at a time.

I know it still doesn't match with the 109 count, but 88 certainly sounds a lot different than 44.

1700 days ago


I don't understand why the doctor can't be found. Is the pharmacy filling perscriptions without the doctor's DEA number? Wasn't the address or telephone number of the doctor on the original perscription paper or was it called in? What are the facts TMZ? Do your job and ask these questions.

1700 days ago


Pneumonia can be a side effect of continued and habituated vicodin use.
All the symptoms she was having (stomach pain, nausea, difficulty breathing) could be attributed to the ongoing abuse of that painkiller. Hydrocodone slows the nervous system. When she added over the counter medication she made the side effects even worse.

The coroner is saying all this in his reporting but can't out and out say it because it was not an simple "overdose." I think this is why he has been trying to find out what she was actually taking in the months leading up to her death. I don't know if this is something that would be included on the report if he could prove it. It should be used as a cautionary tale to people who use painkillers everyday as a "lifestyle" choice. It can kill you.

My guess is that morning when she was upset and telling her Mother she felt as if she couldn't catch her breath they may have discussed going to the hospital and she probably didn't want to go.
They probably didn't want the publicity even if they thought it was not due to prescription drug use. TMZ would be right there over reporting her hospital stay. And I would be reading about it.
We are all a little bit responsible.

I have this theory that a lot of women in show business, models, actresses, dancers might get habituated to painkillers when they get cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgery is MAJOR surgery and the pain that comes with it is no joke. Then they get hooked to taking them. Withdrawal is painful and the painkillers themselves are highly addictive.

1700 days ago


1700 days ago


If someone is taking 10 hydrocodone (vicodin) a day they are a drug addict. Plan and simple junkie ! Just because a doctor gives them to you, it's no different then buying herion from a street dealer ! I feel bad for Brittany Murphy but she was a junkie !!!!!!!

1700 days ago


She has been on drugs for awhile did you see her husband . She married him for a reason and its not love. Maybe to help her get a role in something.
They used each other but since he couldn't get her a job she got the short end of the stick.

1700 days ago


I have 6 herniated discs and have been prescribed 120 vicodins per month for years. On bad days I take up to six per day. Good days, half that. 120 for 30 days is the norm for chronic pain.

1700 days ago


I'm curious to know what is the dosage, meaning the milligrams of the prescribed dose? Usually pain pills will come in different strengths, levels of Tylenol. If she was taking a high mg of drug/Tylenol every 4 hours/ or sooner, that would make a difference. Plus, being sick and so underweight. Ack, that would make her throw up, how could she function?

1700 days ago


You guys really think this is a shock or surprise? Come on!


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1700 days ago


I should have specified I'm taking the same as she was. vicoprofen 7.5/200. The worst side effects I have seen is sometimes they make you irritable as hell. Looking at pictures of her, she seemed to have a problem with anorexia which would be a horrible combination with all of the prescriptions she was taking.

1700 days ago


106. Dan, I understand. Chronic pain sufferer here too. I don't understand it. I don't take Vicodin or anything with tylenol but at my worst times, I don't think I did that much meds at once. I went to the hospital to get shots for severe muscles spasms/disc problems, if the pain got that severe.(And cursed myself for doing so because the pain was horrible to and from there.) I ended up getting nerve blocks to end that constant nerve pain.
Pain meds are not there so you live your life with NO pain, it is there to make your pain tolerable so you can cope with it. Geesh, I'd be drugged out of my mind if I was completely out of pain or knocked out.
But then again, I know someone who doesn't seem to understand that meds are suppose to last 30 days...not one week. You know what I mean? I swear some people have adverse reactions to pain meds and it makes them HYPER. They are the reason people in chronic pain are misunderstood.

1700 days ago


Bottom line is- IF she took them herself and had some sort of addiction- like the rest of the stars who overdose- ITS THEIR FAULT- not a doctors. Yes, he should lose his license if he was giving meds illegally, but Murphy put the pills in her own mouth, swallowed and made her own bed and it was irresponsible and deadly. The sad thing is- is that these people will never learn...too much COULD kill you! It's as simple as that. We all know that!

1700 days ago


Hey Karma. I've had the cortisone and steroid shots and nerve blocks. The problem with nerve blocks is when the nerve regenerates itself, the pain usually is worse (about 6 months in my case). The PK's are the only thing I have found effective. I have a pretty physical job, so I almost have to take them if I want to stay employed there (and I do). I feel sorry for people like Brittany that lose control over their meds that have chronic pain. It's easy to do and dangerous as hell once you get hooked.

1700 days ago


The rteaqson that so many pills were gone is becasue she was taking 25 per day not 8. I was once on 50 vikeys per day, or actually 25 Norco's, which are double Vikeys.
Again, Opiates kills another human being and the drug dealer was a doctor. There are too many that will write you a script for just about anything. MY sister in law has a doctor like that now.
Sad, soo very, very sad.
I am so glad to be off Opiates too. It was so hard, I empathize with anyone in the struggle.

1700 days ago


It is VERY common for a doctor to prescribe a 30-day supply. This shouldn't be a mystery to the coroner at all. The script was written for it to be taken 4 times a day. Do the math....4 x 30 days = 120 pills. Duh. Our doctor ALWAYS writes scripts for a 30 day supply......even opiates.

1700 days ago
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