Daytrana Review

By Dr. Kensington

Daytrana (transdermal Methylphenidate, the ADHD patch) is a stimulant that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also referred to as ADD or ADHD.

This ADHD medication is delivered via a skin patch, as opposed to taking pills. It interacts with chemicals in the brain that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity.


It comes in 4 different sizes: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg. One's dosage is based many factors such as age, physical condition, and whether one has ever taken ADHD medication before.

See this guide to finding the best dosage.

Like Ritalin, it is methylphenidate, but differs in that it is delivered not in pill form, but rather a skin patch. The effects of the drug begin within 2 hours after applying the skin patch. The patch is to be worn no longer that 9 hours after application.

After use, the patch is typically folded in half and flushed down the toilet or disposed of in the trash. A handy chart is included in order to keep track of when the patches are applied and removed.

Side Effects

Side effects may include decreased appetite, irritability, and insomnia. In fact, these side effects will be familiar to anyone who has ever consumed too much caffeine. For a comprehensive overview of Daytrana side effects click here.

Decreased Appetite: This is a common side effect of all stimulants. If it continues to be problematic, dosages and medication times can be adjusted. Often a large breakfast, small lunch and large supper can do the trick. Or a late evening snack can also help.

Rebound: Rebound is the phenomenon where some experience irritability or depression for an hour as the drug wears off. One can avoid rebound by spacing the doses closer together, giving a smaller dose after the final larger dose, or by switching to a longer acting stimulant.

Recently several new long-acting stimulant preparations have been released. Although the long-acting compounds often have less rebound, it may still occur in susceptible individuals.

The Jitters: Like all stimulants, Daytrana can sometimes produce the jitters and the shakes. To avoid this try eliminating all caffeine and other stimulants. A small dose of a beta-blocker (a type of blood pressure medication) can block tremors, shakes and jitters. Be sure to eat regular meals and ingest some food.

Upset Stomach: Another common side effect of any stimulant. Take the medication with meals or eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Sleep Disturbance: Sometimes sleep disturbances are due to ADHD, not the medication. Therefore, it is a good idea to take a sleep history before starting taking any stimulants. If sleep disturbances are due to the medication, there are several options such as adjusting dosages and medication times.

Irritability: Irritability may be due to ADHD but if it is due to the medication the dosage may be altered or another ADHD medication could be substituted.

Abuse Potential

Any stimulant may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. No medications should ever be shared with another, especially someone with a history of substance use. Be sure to read about the dangers of abuse. As always, keep all medication stored in a secure place.

Daytrana Warnings

Do not use Daytrana if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Also, do not use if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe high blood pressure, tics or Tourette's syndrome, angina, heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, or recent heart attack.

Also report to your doctor a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.

If you experience any severe, unusual, or potentially life-threatening reactions (difficult breathing or swallowing, for example), seek immediate medical attention. 

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