Chris Penn Died Of Heart Disease

Los Angeles County coroner’s office announced on Monday that actor Chris Penn, 40, died suddenly from a fatal cardiac disease, though a regularly prescribed cough syrup was likely a contributing role.

Chris Penn Cause of Death

Penn’s death was attributed to “nonspecific cardiomyopathy,” a disorder of the heart muscle that is typically fatal over time, according to the investigation. According to coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey, Penn’s enlarged and weak heart “could have given out at any time.”

However, researchers also discovered that Penn’s “significant condition” included the side effects of many drugs. They singled out Phenergan, an antihistamine used in over-the-counter cough syrup that is generally safe for adults to take.

Harvey stated that the cough medicine, which contains codeine, was “not a direct cause” of Penn’s death but did play a role.

chris penn cause of death
Chris Penn cause of death

Although Phenergan was the only legal drug specifically recognized by authorities on Monday as a significant component in the case, Penn’s system included other drugs. It was reported that no prohibited substances were discovered.

Dr. Gerald Pohost, chief of cardiovascular medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, described cardiomyopathy as a degenerative condition that weakens and damages the heart muscle. He also explained that while the process “may take months, years, or decades,” it ultimately results in the patient’s death.

Pohost reassured us that Phenergan “doesn’t cause heart failure,” but he did warn that the sedative effects of the drug could exacerbate breathing problems in obese individuals and put additional stress on hearts that are weak from cardiomyopathy. Penn was a 6’2″, a 310-pound character actor who played tough guys and law enforcement types over the course of his long career.

A housekeeper in his Santa Monica condominium discovered him unresponsive in bed on January 24. Coroner’s officials have determined that he likely passed away the day before, Harvey said. When asked for more information about the autopsy and toxicology tests that were performed, he declined to comment until the coroner’s formal report on Penn’s death was made public.

Harvey claimed he was unsure of Penn’s exact Phenergan dosage. A prescription for the cough syrup was filled three days before the actor’s death, he added, and the bottle was only a quarter full when he passed away.

Penn “just had a bad heart,” Harvey said.

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