Ask the Experts

Daytrana ‘Delay’ in the Mornings

“My 10-year-old son uses Daytrana. The medicine doesn’t seem to ‘kick in’ until about four hours after we apply the patch. Does the medication take that long to seep into the bloodstream? What can we do in the mornings?”

Although the company that manufactures Daytrana indicates that it starts to work more quickly than you say, many parents have told me about similar delays in effectiveness.

The manufacturer says the Daytrana patch takes up to two hours to start working and can be worn for up to nine hours. The effects will continue for one to three hours after removing it.

If you want to stay with the Daytrana patch, you could try this technique. Go into your child’s bedroom, about two hours before you want to wake him up, and gently apply the patch while he sleeps. When he wakes up, the medication should already be in his system, and he will be less rambunctious. If you take this approach, you should talk with your doctor about how to get all-day coverage and when to remove the patch after applying it early.

Alternatively, ask your son’s doctor about the possibility of a small dose of methylphenidate, maybe 5 mg., when he first wakes up. This dose should cover him until the patch kicks in.

FDA is warning that permanent loss of skin color may occur with use of the Daytrana patch (methylphenidate transdermal system) for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). FDA added a new warning to the drug label to describe this skin condition, which is known as chemical leukoderma. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for more information.

Updated on July 5, 2017

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