Here at MindMed we receive numerous questions from people regarding not only natural treatments of ADHD such as ADHD Treatment, but also plenty with respect to medication specifics as well. In our ADHD Medication FAQ series, we try to address the most frequent of these. Of course when considering trying a new medication, whether switching from another prescription or starting medicinal treatment all together, it is important to be well informed when discussing options with your medical practitioner. Hopefully this will help you in that endeavor.
1. What is Daytrana?
Daytrana is a one of the newest drugs in the fight against ADHD. It only hit the market in 2006 in the USA, it innovated treatment by giving parents another option on how to administer ADHD medication, in this case, a transdermal patch. The Daytrana patch contains methylphenidate, the same stimulant medication found in Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, and other commonly prescribed ADHD medications, the only difference is the delivery system.
2. What’s the difference between Daytrana and Ritalin?
In terms of medication, there is very little difference between Daytrana and Ritalin. In fact, the stimulant it uses to treat ADHD, methylphenidate, is actually the same stimulant used in many other ADHD drugs, Ritalin included. The main difference lies in the delivery mechanism. With pills such as Ritalin, the medication is ingested, released into the digestive system, and absorbed into the bloodstream. With the patch, the medication passes directly through the skin, and is absorbed into the bloodstream without going through the digestive system.
3. How do I take Daytrana?
To take Daytrana, you must wear the patch on your hip, but be sure the area of the hip that you apply it to is clean and dry. Avoid putting it at the waistline, since the patch may be dislodged by clothing rubbing against it. When putting on the patch, firmly press it with your hand for 30 seconds, being sure the edges fully adhere. Be sure not to play with the patch during the day.
The Daytrana patch comes in 10, 15, 20, and 30 mg. dosages. (Each number represents the number of milligrams released over nine hours.) The 10 mg. patch releases 1.1 mg. of methylphenidate per hour and contains 27.5 mg. per patch; the 15 mg. patch delivers 1.6 mg. per hour and contains 41.3 mg.; the 20 mg. patch delivers 2.2 mg. per hour and contains 55 mg.; and the 30 mg. patch delivers 3.3 mg. per hour and contains 82.5 mg. of methylphenidate.
4. Can I take Daytrana?
For the large majority of people, yes you can. It is approved to be prescribed to individuals aged 3 and over, but there are certain restrictions, such as marked hypertension and anxiety. The former should avoid Daytrana all together, even if the case of hypertension is mild. You should also avoid Daytrana if you have glaucoma, tics or a family history of Tourette’s syndrome, or if you are taking or recently took a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
5. Does Daytrana have any side effects?
Like all drugs, Daytrana is not without its side effects, both serious and mild, and common and uncommon. For the most part, the side effects of a Daytrana patch treatment are the same as methylphenidate pills. These include lack of appitite, difficulty going to sleep, headache and stomachache.
There is also a chance a child may experience irritability, anger, and flatness of personality should the dose is too high. There are also side effects unique to the patch such as skin irritation and/or a rash at the site of the patch.
6. Is Daytrana addictive?
Daytrana has the potential for addiction, but this is mostly among people who do not have ADHD.
7. Is Daytrana the right medication for my child?
To truly know the answer to the question, one must consult a medical professional. To help you become better informed before that meeting however, be sure to read message boards of people with ADHD who have taken it, as they can tell you from first had experience.
To help you better understand the drug before you meet with the professional, the video below by Dr. Viveck Baluja, MD, talks in further detail about the drug Daytrana itself as well as its side effects:
Daytrana Prescribing Information. Shire Pharmaceuticals. Rev. 04/06.
FDA News Release. FDA Approves Methylphenidate Patch to Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children. April 10, 2006.