Daytrana is an ADHD patch – a system that delivers methylphenidate, which is the same standard medication accessible in tablet forms such as Ritalin and Concerta. The uniqueness of this system is the way it’s delivered.

It is a relatively new type of medication to manage ADHD. The patch is applied to skin at the hip area and left on for approximately 9 hours while the medicine is gradually absorbed into the body. It is meant to give relief from ADHD symptoms such as lack of concentration and poor organization skills.

Daytrana first came into the market in 2006, offering an alternative to ADHD medications such as pills. Daytrana lets the medicine to be sent directly to the bloodstream without the need to be digested first. Kids who use the Daytrana patch are probably more likely to feel the positive effects of the patch and help them to complete their school work during the day.

The distinct benefit of the product is its ability to let each patient to find out the duration of action of the medication on a daily basis. The patch is meant to be applied for about two hours prior to the medication’s effect is needed, and the effectiveness goes on for up to three hours after the patch is removed.

The delivery of the medication is easy and simple as the patch can be worn throughout the day while performing normal activities like swimming, bathing, or while performing exercises. As the patch is visible externally, parents can make sure that the medication is on when compared to pills and medicine that do not confirm whether the medication has really been taken. One good thing about the patch is that, once applied, it cannot be removed and re-used by others.

The company recommends the patch to be worn for 9 hours, although it can be taken off before that time. It can be helpful especially when the child’s school schedule is short. The patch can also be taken off earlier to minimise the chances for decreasing the appetite or interfering with sleep pattern.

When it comes to cost, all new medications tend to be expensive in the beginning, especially when they are protected by a patent. At the moment, Daytrana is more expensive than the generic types of oral medication, but it may be less expensive than oral ADHD medications that are still covered by a patent.

How does Daytrana work?

Daytrana releases a small doses of medication on an hourly basis so that kids with ADHD have a constant amount during the school day. It is recommended to be applied 2 hours before the medication is required to begin working.

Daytrana is an adhesive patch that securely sticks to the hip of the ADHD child throughout daily actions. As long as it is applied properly, Daytrana is a convenient medication for controlling ADHD symptoms.


Parents who are having problems administering medication to their kids with ADHD, now have a better option, especially when kids refuse to swallow pills or who want to avert the stigma of taking medication at school. The Daytrana patch saves parents the fuss of crushing a tablet, mixing it with food or water, and hope their child will swallow the ADHD medicine.

In the case of pills, the medication is swallowed and released in the digestive system, later to be absorbed into the bloodstream. In the case of the patch, the method is different as the medication goes straight through the skin, and is absorbed into the bloodstream avoiding the digestive system. One good thing about the patch is that the same amount of medication is present right across the patch, although in different doses to be worn for shorter or longer periods of time.

Many children with ADHD are using the Daytrana patch to treat their symptoms during the day and help with attention and focus in school.

How to use and dispose the patch

Before applying the patch, make sure the area of the hip that you apply is clean and dry. Do not put it at the waistline as the patch may be moved away by clothes rubbing against it. While applying the patch, securely press it with your hand for about thirty seconds, making sure the edges are completely stuck. The full surface of the patch must be exposed to the skin for the correct amount of medication to be absorbed.

When correctly applied, the patch will stay on and keep producing medicine. However, exposure to water from bathing or swimming could affect its adhesive properties. If the patch falls off, throw it away and apply a new patch to a different region of the same hip, ensuring the total daily length of time does not go beyond 9 hours. Don’t use tape, bandages, or other home adhesives to re-apply the patch.

Disposing of the patch properly is as important as applying it. To protect kids from coming into contact with the medicine, always remember to fold it in half so that it sticks to itself, and then throw it away safely.

Side effects

Side effects of the Daytrana patch include sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, stomach pains, and headaches. As the patch sticks to the skin, it can also cause a rash or irritation. However, this can dealt with by applying the patch to a different area of the hip every day. Do not apply the patch to irritated or damaged skin as it could increase the amount of medication that gets into your child’s bloodstream.

The side effects of the methylphenidate medication are similar to the oral forms, where a child may get irritated, angry, especially if the dose is too high.

The disadvantages of the system include the need for meticulous application of the patch every day, at a different area on the body, normally the hip region below the waistline, and redness can be expected at the area for up to 2 days after patch removal.

Heat must never be applied to the patch like heating pads, electric blankets, and heated water beds, because this could change the rate of delivery of the medication into the system.

There is a possibility of developing an allergic reaction to the adhesive, or potentially to the medication itself.

The most common reactions related with Daytrana (about 5% and double the rate of placebo-treated patients) in clinical trials among children included decreased appetite, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and decreased weight. Among a adolescents, there has been decreased appetite, insomnia, decreased weight, dizziness, abdominal pain and anorexia.

And also, most of subjects in these studies had a degree of skin erythema where the patch was applied. Leaving the patch on for more than the stipulated 9 hours resulted in a rise of adverse events.


As with all ADHD medications, the use of the Daytrana patch will have to be cautiously monitored by a doctor. It is advisable to discuss this new system with your child’s doctor and then decide whether it’s the right thing for you and your child.



All content on this site is strictly for INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. Please consult your doctor for any advice regarding your condition.