Ledger's Death Ruled Accidental Prescription Overdose

Combination of multiple prescribed drugs felled young actor.

by | February 7, 2008 | Comments

According to the New York City medical examiner’s office, Heath Ledger‘s cause of death has been determined as an accidental overdose of “painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other prescription drugs.”

In a statement released yesterday, spokeswoman Ellen Borakove attributed Ledger’s death to “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.” According to the Associated Press, “the drugs are the generic names for the painkiller OxyContin, the anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax, and the sleep aids Restoril and Unisom.”

Although Ledger’s death is being ruled an accidental overdose, it’s being stressed that he apparently didn’t take more of any of the listed medications than he was supposed to; as Borakove puts it, “What you’re looking at here is the cumulative effects of these medications together.” Ledger’s family released the following statement in response to the news:

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”

Source: Associated Press

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