Greg Giraldo Death: Latest Celeb in Prescription Drug Tragedy

greg giraldo accidental over dose comedian
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Greg Giraldo (Getty Images/Kevin Winter)

(CBS) Comedian Greg Giraldo is reporteldy the latest celebrity to fall victim to the dangers of prescription medication.

The 44-year-old Comedy Central regular died Wednesday after fighting for his life for five days. He was originally brought to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. for an overdose of prescription drugs. Reports claim it was not a suicide. The cause of death has not been released.

Giraldo's untimely death comes amid a spate of high profile prescription drug tragedies.

Last December, actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died from a heart attack. A coroner's report blamed pneumonia, iron deficiency and "multiple drug intoxication."

Hydrocodone, acetaminophen, and chlorpheniramine and L-methamphetamine were found in her blood - a combination of prescription vicoprofen (a narcotic pain reliever) and over-the-counter cold medication, her husband said.

The "possible adverse physiological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state," the coroner wrote in ruling her death an accident.

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger, 28, died in his New York City apartment.

"Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine," the medical examiner's office said. "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."

Ledger was taking a cocktail of painkillers, anti-anxiety meds and sleeping aids including Valium, Xanax, Oxycodone and Restoril.

And then there was former reality star and Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith, whose death was ruled accidental. She had been taking a wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs including Valium, methadone for pain, and anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs.