A Marilyn Monroe Owned Pill Bottle

A Marilyn Monroe prescription pill bottle from Schwab’s Pharmacy in Hollywood, RX number 447184, for Phenergan, a medication used to treat allergies, prescribed to Marilyn Monroe by Dr. Kennamer and dated June 1, 1961.


Phenergan (promethazine)

This medication belongs to a group of drugs called phenothiazines. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Promethazine also acts as an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.  Phenergan is used to treat allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes.  It also prevents motion sickness, and treats nausea and vomiting or pain after surgery. It is also used as a sedative or sleep aid.

Marilyn’s Illnesses:

Marilyn was particularly susceptible to heavy colds which tuned into bronchitis and, once, after entertaining the troops in sub-zero temperatures in Korea, full-fledged pneumonia. Bronchitis or flu forced her to take time off filming many of her movies, including A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Bus Stop (1956). Not surprisingly, she caught a chill during the three hours standing bare-legged over an updraft for the skirt scene in The Seven Year Itch (1955). More often than not studio executives believed she was making up convenient illnesses like colds and bronchitis to cover up for her failures to arrive at work on time, or at all.

Marilyn began work on her final film, Something’s Got To Give (1962) a week late because of an acute sinus infection and fever. She managed just one day on the set before her physician advised her that she needed bed rest for at least a week. She was unceremoniously suspended from the production after too many days absent. Some say Twentieth Century-Fox merely used this as an excuse to close down the production. Marilyn publicly exclaimed her frustration with this situation: “Executives can get a cold and stay home and phone in, but the actor? How dare you get a cold or a virus! I wish they had to act a comedy with a temperature and a virus infection!”