A new ADHD medication, the Daytrana transdermal patch, is now available for children who have difficulty swallowing pills. The delivery system is new to the market. With this patch, the drugs flows through the skin and into the bloodstream. The active ingredient, methylphenidate, is the oldest ADHD drug on the market. Methylphenidate is the generic name for Ritalin and is also the active ingredient in many other ADHD medications including Concerta, Ritalin LA and Metadate.
The ADHD Patch offers some benefits over pills. Advantages of the Daytrana patch include:
- Fewer gastrointestinal side effects.
- A viable substitute for children who cannot swallow pills.
- Longer lasting but can be removed earlier.
- Eliminates the possibility of abuse/ crushing and snorting pills, which is a growing concern.
- May help with medication identification in cases of emergency.
However, there are also disadvantages to using the patch, including:
- It avoids first-pass metabolism by the liver, which may limit effectiveness or increase toxicity.
- Takes longer for the drug fully gets into the system.
- Often cost more than pills.
- Can move or fall off.
- Skin rashes and sensitization can occur.
The Daytrana patch is available in four different dosage strengths. It is advisable to start with a low dose first to determine side effects. Daytrana side effects are the same as other methylphenidate ADHD drug side effects.
Daytrana Patch Side Effects Include:
- Decreased appetite/Weight loss.
- Stomach aches/Nausea/Vomiting.
- Mood swings.
- Nasal congestion/Inflammation of the nasal passages.
- Skin irritation or rash.
Other Common Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana patch) side effects include:
- Dry mouth.
- Blurred vision.
- Growth suppression.
Other Methylphenidate side effects, though less common, can include:
- Cardiac arrhythmia.
- Other cardiovascular events including heart palpitations, increased blood pressure
- Abnormal thought or behaviors.
The following side effects, though rare, have also been reported:
- Cerebral arteritis.
- Abnormal liver function.
Methylphenidate can worsen anxiety, agitation or tension. The Daytrana patch should not be used if the person is taking an MAOI antidepressant, has glaucoma, tics, Tourettes syndrome or a family history of Tourettes syndrome.
Shire, the manufacturer of the Daytrana patch, also warns that before trying Daytrana, the primary care doctor should be alerted to the following conditions:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart conditions.
- Depression, bipolar disorder or abnormal thoughts or behaviors.
- Current or past drug or alcohol abuse problems.
- Visual disturbances.
Your doctor should be informed immediately if fainting or chest pains occur while using Daytrana.
Daytrana should not be used for children under the age of 6 since safety and effectiveness of methylphenidate has not been established and can cause especially severe reactions in that age group.
Methylphenidate is a powerful stimulant classified as a Schedule II narcotic - drugs with the highest abuse potential and addiction profile - by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Before using the Daytrana patch, thoroughly investigate the benefits and the potential side effects of methylphenidate. Attention Deficit requires a multifaceted approach which requires many different tactics and combination of tactics. What works is highly individual, depending on individual needs.