What Pills Did Marilyn Monroe Take? What Caused Her Death?

Directed by Andrew Dominik, Netflix’s biographical film ‘Blonde’ opens a window to the personal life of the iconic Marilyn Monroe, exploring her relationships, marriages, and the emotional conflicts she faces before her death. Monroe is faced with many emotional challenges in the latter stages of her life. These lead to her turning to prescription drugs and alcohol. The same affects her famous career. In the film, we see how her drug addiction led to her tragic 36-year-old death. Intrigued by these developments that happen in Monroe’s life, we have found more about the pills the actress took in real life. Let’s share our discoveries!

Marilyn Monroe, What Pills Did She Take?

Marilyn Monroe’s emergence as an actress also paved the way for several changes in her life. J. Randy Taraborrelli expressed his suspicion that Monroe was possibly dependent on sleeping pills by 1953 in his book titled ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.’ Even during her life with Joe DiMaggio, Monroe “could not sleep without pills,” as per Taraborrelli’s book. In 1960, Monroe’s psychiatrist Ralph Greenson had prescribed her Nembutal as a barbiturate. Barbiturates, which are sedative-hypnotic drugs used as depressants, lower neurotransmission levels. Nembutal is used to treat insomnia.

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“Doctors had gone along with her [Monroe’s] There are constant requests for stronger and more effective sleeping pills. Even though they were well aware of the dangers involved. There were always new doctors willing to help her into oblivion,” Monroe’s third husband Arthur Miller said about the same, as per Taraborrelli’s book. According to Dr. Howard Markel, Monroe was also a frequent user of other barbiturates like Seconal, Amytal, sodium pentothal and Seconal. In addition to methamphetamine and Dexedrine, Benzedrine. Dexamyl. morphine. codeine. Percodan. And Librium. Alcohol also had a place in her life. According to Markel, the actress had access to sedatives, soporifics, tranquilizers, opiates, “speed pills,” and sleeping pills.

Towards the end of Monroe’s life, Monroe used to give herself “injections of phenobarbital, Nembutal, and Seconal—which she referred to as a ‘vitamin shot,’” as per ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.’

What Caused Marilyn Monroe’s Death?

Marilyn Monroe was found dead at her Brentwood home on August 5, 1962. Her bedside found a bottle of sleeping pills and fourteen additional pills. Thomas Noguchi, then-deputy coroner, performed her autopsy that day. It was concluded that Monroe died on August 4, 1962. Monroe was found to have died from a barbiturate overdose, according to toxicological analysis. A count of “eight milligrams of chloral hydrate and four and a half milligrams of Nembutal” was found in her blood, in addition to “thirteen milligrams, a much higher concentration, of Nembutal” in her liver, as per Donald Spoto’s ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Biography.’

marilyn monroe photo pose seven year itch 1
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Nembutal and chloral hydrate, if taken together, forms a lethal cocktail since the two drugs increase or “potentiate” the impact of the other. Dr. Markel said that Monroe used to take both of these medications together with Champagne to help her sleep. It is possible that Monroe died from the same procedure. Several theories suggest Monroe’s death was or wasn’t a suicide. Psychiatrists from the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, who assisted the Los Angeles County coroner’s office to investigate her death, concluded that her death was a “suicide or at least a gamble with death.” Prosecutor John Miner, who was associated with the case, did not think the actress killed herself.

Continue reading: Marilyn Monroe Car Accident: What happened and when?

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