Expert disputes medicine responsible for 9-year-old’s death

  • ADHD meds were blamed for a 12-year-old girl fatally stabbing her brother
  • Professor of psychiatry: There is a stigma surrounding medications
  • Dr. Kelly Posner: 'Medications don't cause these terrible outcomes'

(NewsNation) — Dr. Kelly Posner, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, addressed the notion that ADHD medication somehow caused a 12-year-old girl to fatally stab her 9-year-old brother in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

April Lyda, the mother of the siblings, made the comment while speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview on NewsNation’s “CUOMO,” saying, what caused her daughter to act out in violence “was a medication issue, not anything else.”

Posner acknowledged the unimaginable anguish the family was going through, recognizing the natural need to search for a cause to the terrible outcome.

“It’s absolutely the right thing to do to first think about the medical issues or medications,” she said of Lyda’s admission. “That’s a reasonable thing to do.”

However, Posner said when dealing with the stigma surrounding medications, it is important to “separate fact from fiction.”

“What we know, clearly, is that medications don’t cause these terrible outcomes,” she said. “It’s actually the underlying medical conditions that these medicines are treating that are responsible for many things. And what becomes really dangerous, when people think that these medications cause things like this, is that it causes people to go off of medications that are potentially lifesaving.”

The medication in question, Intuniv, is a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD. Posner cited numerous studies that demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.

“The science is very clear, even new studies with thousands and thousands of people. And they show consistently that this medicine is very safe and very effective.”

Posner said when people have a history of self-injury or a history of aggression, it would be likely that they might also experience a mood disorder.

“What we know clearly is that this girl was suffering,” Posner said. “And like many, (she was) suffering in silence, and not getting the care that she needed. She needed more care than she was getting. And the sad fact is that that’s the story for the majority of kids who need treatment.”

Watch the full interview in the video player at the top of the page.


Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation