Opioids

Penn death ruled accidental

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2006, 12:00am

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Actor Chris Penn died accidentally from an enlarged heart and the effects of a mixture of multiple medications.


'There is absolutely no indication that this is anything but an accident,' chief coroner investigator Craig Harvey said.


Penn, 40, the younger brother of Sean Penn, was found dead in his condominium on January 24.


The primary cause of death was 'non-specific cardiomyopathy',


an oversized heart, with the 'effects of multiple medication intake', according to a statement issued by the coroner's office.


'We know he had several prescriptions, including promethazine with codeine, which featured predominantly in his death,' Harvey said.


Promethazine with codeine is known as a highly addictive prescription medication. Promethazine is an antihistamine that prevents vomiting, and codeine suppresses coughing and relieves pain, Harvey said.


'We don't know how much he ingested or when,' Harvey said. 'There are a lot of 'what ifs' to be factored in.'


Penn (left) had a heart that weighed 700g, which is a few hundred grams more than an average heart. AP