ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews


Daytrana is a transdermal ADHD patch that transfers stimulant medication through clean, dry skin.
Generic Name: Methylphenidate

What is Daytrana?

Daytrana (Generic Name: methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 6-12, and adolescents up to age 17. It contains the same active ingredient as medications like Ritalin and Concerta, but Daytrana is a transdermal patch that transfers medication through clean, dry skin. According to the FDA, Daytrana is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence.

Daytrana may improve focus, and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, hallmark symptoms for some patients with the condition. It has not been studied in children under the age of 6.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment with behavioral therapy before medication for children under the age of 6. For children ages 6 to 11, the AAP says “The primary care clinician should prescribe US Food and Drug Administration–approved medications for ADHD and/or evidence-based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as treatment for ADHD, preferably both.” Likewise, the National Institute of Mental Health finds the most successful treatment plans use a combination of ADHD medication, like Adderall XR, and behavior therapies.

How Do You Use Daytrana?

Before starting or refilling a Daytrana prescription, read the medication guide included with the patch, as it may be updated with new information.

This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.

What is the Typical Dosage for Daytrana?

As with all medications, follow your Daytrana prescription instructions exactly. Apply the Daytrana patch to the hip two hours before you need the medication to take effect. Alternate the hip where you apply the patch daily to avoid irritation. If your child cannot apply the patch, or remember to remove it, you should do it for him or her.

Do not apply lotion, medicine, or cream to skin before applying a Daytrana patch, as it can keep the patch from sticking or affect how the medication is absorbed. Do not use additional adhesives to apply or hold the patch to the skin; discard damaged patches that won’t adhere on their own or that fall off. Avoid applying excess heat — from blow dryers, heating pads, or electric blankets — to the area where the patch is applied; this can cause too much medication to be released too quickly.

The Daytrana patch should be worn for a maximum of 9 hours a day. If you forget to put the patch on in the morning, you can apply it later in the day, and remove it at the usual time. If you forget to remove a patch, or accidentally apply two patches, remove them both and contact your doctor immediately. Flush used patches down the toilet.

There are four dosage strengths available, each delivered over a period of 9 hours: 27.5mg, 41.3mg, 55mg, and 82.5mg. The patch size increases as the dosage increases.

During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking Daytrana so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including blood, heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.

Some patients report developing a tolerance to Daytrana after long-term usage. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.

What Side Effects Are Associated with Daytrana?

The most common side effects of Daytrana are as follows: skin irritation where the patch is applied, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, weight loss, tics, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and dizziness.

Other serious side effects include: seizures, priapism, slowed growth in children and adolescents, allergic skin rash including swelling or blisters, and eyesight changes. Permanent loss of skin color may occur where the patch is applied, the FDA added a new warning to the drug label to describe this skin condition, which is known as chemical leukoderma.

Taking Daytrana may impair your teenager’s ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially dangerous tasks. This side effect usually wears off with time. If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor. Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.

Report to your doctor any heart-related problems or a family history of heart and blood pressure problems. Patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious heart problems have experienced sudden death, stroke, heart attack, and increased blood pressure while taking Daytrana. Stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Physicians should monitor these vital signs closely during treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences warning signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Daytrana.

Also disclose to your physician all mental health issues including any family history of suicide, bipolar illness, tics, or depression. The drug manufacturer, Noven Pharmaceuticals, recommends evaluating patients for bipolar disorder, tics, and Tourette’s syndrome prior to stimulant administration. Daytrana may create new or exacerbate existing behavior problems, bipolar illness, or Tourette’s syndrome. It can cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences new or worsening mental health symptoms including hallucinations or sudden suspicions.

Discuss circulation problems with your doctor before taking Daytrana, which has been known to cause numbness, coolness, or pain in fingers or toes, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Report to your doctor any new blood-flow problems, pain, skin color changes, or sensitivities to temperature while taking Daytrana.

Stimulants like Daytrana have a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially among people who do not have ADHD. It is a “Schedule II Stimulant,” a designation that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses for drugs with a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule II drugs include Dexedrine, Ritalin, and cocaine. People with a history of drug abuse should use caution when trying this medication. Taking the medication exactly as prescribed can reduce potential for abuse.

The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

What Precautions Are Associated with Daytrana?

Store Daytrana in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Daytrana prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.

You should not take Daytrana if you:

  • are extremely anxious, tense, or agitated
  • have glaucoma
  • have tics, Tourette’s syndrome, or a family history of either condition
  • have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor within 14 days
  • are allergic to Daytrana or any ingredients or adhesives in the patch

You should use caution when taking Daytrana if you have the following conditions: heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, mental problems including psychosis, mania, bipolar disorder or depression, seizures, circulation problems, skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, or vitiligo, or an allergy to adhesives.

If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Daytrana with your doctor. It is not known if Daytrana can create risk of fetal harm. It is not known if Daytrana is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.

What Interactions Associated with Daytrana?

Before taking Daytrana, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Daytrana can have a dangerous, possibly fatal, interaction with antidepressants including MAOIs.

Tell your doctor if you are taking seizure medications, blood thinners, blood pressure medication, or any medication containing a decongestant. These medications can have a dangerous interaction.

Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Daytrana before having any surgery or laboratory tests. The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.


More Information on Daytrana and Other ADHD Medications:

20 Daytrana Comments & Reviews

  1. My son’s doctor just switched my son to Daytrana from Concerta. After a few days on the Daytrana patch, my son threw up and complained of an upset stomach.

  2. My 8 year old son has been on the Daytrana patch for a few months now. I like the idea that we can control it. He also does not like to take pills.

  3. We just switched my 6 year old son from Focalin XR 10 mg to Daytrana 10 mg. He was having terrible side effects from the Focalin. The only problem is, the Focalin seemed to work really well, and his teachers are now sending emails several times a week saying that he can’t focus, is being disruptive, etc. In other words, the current dose of Daytrana is not working well.

  4. My son has been on Daytrana for 3 years. He switched from Focalin XR 30 mg, and the doctor initially started him on 15 mg of Daytrana – he was worse at this dose than being unmedicated. He now uses one 30mg patch per day. I love it because we have much more control over the time that he is medicated. I will say that it takes a while for it to get into my son’s system (3-4 hours), so I put it on him while he is asleep when I get up at 5:15am so it is in his system by the time school starts at 8am. He does get some redness and occasional irritation from the patch, but not enough to switch back to a pill stimulant at this time. My son also takes 2mg Intuniv at night. Right now the combo is working great.

  5. I have been using the Daytrana patch for about 6 years now. It works really well for me, although I have had some problems. The control is great, because it lets me decide when I want my meds and when I don’t. The main problem I have experienced is skin irritation; my skin can get really irritated, particularly if it gets hot or the area with the patch gets rubbed.

  6. After we had tried every medication for ADHD, I encouraged my son to try the patch. As for symptom treatment, it was by far the best medication for him. However, it took FOUR HOURS to take effect every day. We did try Daytrana for a couple months and at a couple different dosages. I had problems with peeling the back and getting it to stick and such, but got the hang of it over time.

  7. We use the Daytrana, 15 mg patch, for my 9 year old son. He has had no problems with it. The one thing that has been noted is his teacher thinks he is anxious since we increased him to 15 mg from 10 mg.

  8. My 14 years old son has been on Daytrana for 4 months. My son had about 1 month of adjustment with some headaches and upset stomach. He was prescribed 20mg. We found that when applying the patch it adhered better if you applied pressure with the palm of your hand for a few seconds, seemed like the body heat melted the adhesive better.

  9. Our son is 5 years old and recently started using Daytrana 20mg. We are having a very difficult time getting the medicine to “work” properly. I started placing the patch on him 2 hours before school. It is taking 6 hours for the patch to actually work.

  10. The positives – my son was able to focus better and was more subdued. Because it is a patch, he can remove it after lunch and still have an appetite later in the day. We also don’t use it on weekend or in summer – so it’s flexible.
    The negatives – sometimes my son seems totally zoned out on it. The patch irritates his skin. It does affect his appetite but only while he is wearing it. We don’t know the long term effects. It’s really expensive – without meeting my deductible, it’s $300/mo.

  11. I have been taking the Daytrana patch since it came out. I’m now a freshman in college. I took ritalin and concerta for most of my life (since Kindergarten when I was diagnosed). The Daytrana patch has made a significant improvement in my concentration. It is way more stable and I get more done. My sister also started taking it however she got an allergic reaction on her hip where she would place the patch. If it works and doesn’t cause that for you or your child, I highly recommend it. My only problem is that I still have trouble with my appetite but I’ve always had that problem with ADD medications.

  12. I forget to mention above:
    I take the 30mg patch. I’ve experienced no problems with driving or any activities besides eating. Also personally the patch takes about an hour to fully kick in for me. Lastly I am an adult. I know the page says that it is used for adolescents mainly but as an adult, I will say that this is highly effective. I’m also a female if that helps! 🙂

  13. I’m also an adult who has used Daytrana. It worked really well for me. Unfortunately, I had trouble finding a pharmacy that had it in stock or could get it ordered. Was this ever an issue for you? For some reason, the majority of pharmacies near me had constant problems receiving it.

  14. I’m 25 years old and I have ADD I took Concerta 80mg from 2nd grade to 7th grade. Then my doctor suggested using Daytrana. I have been using Daytrana since 2007 when I was in 7th grade. I went from 60mg patch, to 50mg to 40mg to 30mg. 30mg is the winner. It takes about 2 hours to take full effect, it’s been this way since I started using. Daytrana for me is an every day medication. The very few times I wasn’t able to take it (ran out of patches, it was a weekend and I thought I could manage without it) for a few days (2-4 days) It does take a day or half a day to get back to how I was feeling when I was taking it everyday. During college there were a few times Daytrana was back ordered and I had to go back to Concerta. Those few times were not fun, let’s just say I was elated when Daytrana came back. It’s not addicting, I just prefer to be more productive and have more control over your emotions and actions.

  15. I forgot to mention above:

    As Original stated, the only side affect is lack of appetite. But I as well feel great driving and doing daily activities on the 30mgs. I guess I should say it full kicks in after a hour and a half. But I too would recommend this for your child if it doesn’t cause any allergic reaction. I’m a female too! 🙂

  16. I am a 59 year-old ADDer who was “diagnosed” with just about every condition and treated with a laundry list of medications until age 35, when someone finally put 2+2 together and said “Geez, this guy’s a classic ADDer!”, and began addressing my challenges as such. (If you can imagine felling like a failure at almost everything you’ve ever done for every day of your life, and being routinely scolded, humiliated and even physically beaten as such by teachers, parents, grandparents, peers and employers, day in and day out for 35 years…)

    When my ADD was finally diagnosed, in late July of 1996, and I was prescribed Ritalin 10mg on August 1st, my whole world changed! Suddenly, I was able to focus on my work, often with laser-like intensity until tasks were completed, I was able to juggle multiple tasks at a time and, for the very first time in my life, I was able to reliably get places on time!!! It was AMAZING… until August 21st, when an old stomach ulcer reopened and in an instant, my 3 week Shangri La of a successful life evaporated! (To put things in perspective, I was in sales back then, and earned a grand total of $28,000 that year, but fully $16,000 of it was earned during the first three weeks of August. Everything before and after that was a struggle.)

    A few years later, Daytrana hit the scene, and it at least offered me a limited kind of access to my glory days of 08/95, but with some major changes. First of all, when I’d taken Ritalin, the effects were almost immediate: within 30 minutes, I was boogieing at full tilt, raring and ready to go tackle the world, but 3-4 hours later, I’d slow down to a crawl and get muddled again, so would need to take my next dose and wait the half hour to be fully functional again. With Daytrana, although I could sense some of the medication to take effect within a few minutes, it often wouldn’t reach full effect for 3-4 hours, and while I was good to go once it did, getting to sleep at night became nearly impossible, because I’d still have methylphenidate coursing through my brain at 2 or 3am! On the one hand, I’m also a performing musician, so taking it on “gig” days guaranteed that I could remain fully alert for the long drives home from a show, but on the negative side, my late night insomnia and wee hours tossing and turning wreaked havoc on my (now “ex) wife, an elementary school teacher. It is also damned near impossible to find the stuff when I’d run out, as better than 90% of the time, neither CVS nor Walgreen’s, nor the former Rite Aid pharmacy chains were able to procure it from any of their suppliers, and Daytrana’s manufacturer doesn’t seem either interested in or capable of doing whatever is necessary to keep its customers appropriately supplied with their daily maintenance medication. (In fact, it’s so bad that the supplier maintains a “Daytrana Finder” hotline that you can call, in hopes of finding your medication SOMEWHERE, but it’s staffed with folks who’ll ask you “How far are you willing to drive to purchase your medication? 25 miles? 50 miles? 100 Miles? 200 miles or more?” It’s as completely and utterly ludicrous as that EpiPen manufacturer jacking up their prices from $50 to 600 in two years! Whoever heard of such a thing?)

    Anyhow, the long and the short of it is that I’m a 59 year-old male ADDer who’s found a medication that partially addresses my system’s needs, as long as I can come to terms with the fact that it’s considered an addictive drug that many pharmacies refuse to stock (or have admitted that they’re afraid to let you know that they’re stocking, for fear of being robbed), that it’ll take forever to take full effect, will keep me beloved and I up all night and be unable to be found by not only my local pharmacist but also, frequently enough, by the company that manufactures it, each time my prescription runs out, so I end up having to ration it out to myself, whenever it is that I’m able to locate a refill, saving it only for those days when I have a heavy appointment load or have to stay up late for a show. It’s far from an ideal scenario but, given my gastric woes, it’s all that’s available to me. Ironically enough, Daytrana makes me think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon about having seen the promised land, but not necessarily ever being able to make it there: 25 years ago, for 21 days, I got to see the promised land, and it was more glorious than I could have ever imagined! If only I had a sure-fire way to get back there, how marvelous life could be…

  17. My 11 yr old daughter started on 15 mg patch as she has difficulty taking oral meds. We tried other adhd meds but they did not help her anxiety and gave her a flat personality . The teacher has found her to be distracted but more talkative. She’s only been on it for 2 weeks now and slowly we are noticing she is more confident. We are wondering if we need to put it on earlier as it’s only on for an hour before school. Will try this next week.

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