What to Know About Daytrana (Methylphenidate transdermal) Patch

A Transdermal Patch Used to Treat ADHD

woman putting on a transdermal patch

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Daytrana (Methylphenidate transdermal) is a stimulant medication that is used for treating symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and teenagers between the age of six and 17.

Daytrana comes in the form of a transdermal patch. A transdermal patch is a piece of material that gets placed on the skin which allows the medication to be absorbed into your body through the skin.

This medication is typically used alongside other treatment options for ADHD, such as counseling and behavior therapy. 


Daytrana is used to help decrease symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactive behavior in children and teenagers who have ADHD.

It is often part of a treatment plan for ADHD rather than a sole treatment. This means that people who use Daytrana typically also engage in behavior therapy and counseling to help treat their ADHD symptoms.

Because Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch, it is particularly great for people who have trouble taking medications orally.

Before Taking 

Your doctor will conduct a thorough medical examination on your child before they prescribe Daytrana. They’ll examine your child’s medical history to determine whether Daytrana will be the best course of treatment for your child’s ADHD. 

Sometimes ADHD occurs with other conditions like Tourette’s syndrome and anxiety. If your child has been diagnosed with either of these two conditions, or has a family history of them, Daytrana should not be taken.

Methylphenidate is the active ingredient in Daytrana. If your child has an allergy to methylphenidate or either silicone or acrylic adhesives, which typically make up the patch, then you should disclose this to your doctor before Daytrana is prescribed. 

In some cases, Daytrana has been reported to cause numbness in the fingers and toes. If your child has circulation problems in their fingers or toes, you should tell your doctor before they start using Daytrana.

Precautions and Contraindications

In rare cases, stimulant medications like Daytrana might cause heart problems, especially for people who have a history of heart conditions or have a family history of heart conditions.

If you notice that the Daytrana patch is causing fainting, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you should remove the patch immediately and call your doctor, these may be symptoms of heart problems. 

While wearing the patch, make sure it’s not exposed to external sources like electric blankets or heating pads that can heat it up. When the patch is exposed to heat, the rate at which the medication is absorbed into the body increases significantly. This can cause an overdose of methylphenidate. 

Daytrana should be used cautiously with people who also have a psychotic disorder. Stimulant medication like Daytrana could worsen thought disorders and abnormal behavioral symptoms in such cases. 

In rare cases, people with no history of psychotic illnesses might experience manic symptoms like hallucinations, delusional thinking, racing thoughts, pressured speech, elevated, or extremely irritable mood while using stimulant medications. Once you notice such symptoms occur, you should discontinue Daytrana immediately and speak to your doctor. 


Daytrana comes in the form of a transdermal patch. It is typically recommended that a single patch be placed on the hip two hours before you need the drug to become effective. It shouldn’t be left on for more than nine hours after it is applied. 

Daytrana comes in varying patch sizes that indicate how much methylphenidate they contain. In the first week of treatment, children and teenagers are typically started off with a 12.5cm patch which contains 10 milligrams of methylphenidate.

In the second week of treatment, this might be increased to an 18.75cm patch which contains 15mg of methylphenidate. A 25cm patch is typically administered in the third week of treatment with Daytrana and this contains 20mg of the medication.

The maximum dosage that can be given is the 37.5cm patch which contains 30mg of the medication. 

How to Use and Store 

To use Daytrana, carefully remove the patch from the pouch it’s stored in and peel away the protective liner with clean hands. Make sure the area is clean and dry before placing the patch on your hip. Then, hold the patch to your skin for about 30 seconds to ensure it has been firmly placed and is secure. 

If you are a parent or guardian of a child who has ADHD, it is strongly recommended that you help them put on the patch to ensure that it is placed securely.

If the pouch or protective liner appears to be damaged, dispose of the patch and use a new one.

Your child or teenager should be able to go about their normal activities including swimming and bathing without worrying about the patch becoming dislodged after it is applied properly. Alternate between both hips as you use the patch daily. 

To remove the patch, simply peel it off carefully, if the patch is a little stuck you can apply an oil-based product like petroleum jelly to make it easier to remove. 

Side Effects

Some people might experience mild side effects while using Daytrana. These typically go away after some time. However, if they persist or become more bothersome you should speak to your doctor about it. 


The most common side effects you might experience while using Daytrana include: 

  • Redness or itching around the skin where the patch is applied 
  • Poor appetite 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach aches 
  • Mood swings 
  • Tics 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness 
  • Weight loss 


Serious side effects have also been reported while using Daytrana. They include: 

  • Seizures (your child is more at risk of developing seizures while using Daytrana if they have a history of seizures)
  • Slowed growth in height and weight 
  • Priapism (a condition that causes painful and prolonged erections in boys and men)
  • Blurred vision 
  • Loss of skin color

Warnings and Interactions

Daytrana is a controlled substance, this means you could easily develop a dependency on it and abuse the medication.

If your child has a history of substance abuse you should disclose this to your doctor before Daytrana is prescribed.

If your child is on monoamine oxidase inhibitors or has just discontinued the use of this medication. Daytrana should not be used.

Daytrana could increase your blood pressure, if you are using the medication alongside a vasopressor agent, it’s important to keep a close watch on your blood pressure levels. 

If you also have hypertension and are being treated for it alongside ADHD, you might want to explore other stimulant or non-stimulant medication options, as Daytrana could potentially decrease the effectiveness of your hypertension drugs. 

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Storebø OJ, Krogh HB, Ramstad E, et al. Methylphenidate for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Cochrane systematic review with meta-analyses and trial sequential analyses of randomised clinical trials. BMJ. 2015;351:h5203.

  2. Methylphenidate transdermal patch: medlineplus drug information.

  3. Stimulant and Related Medications: U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Approved Indications and Dosages for Use in Pediatric Patients

  4. Research C for DE and. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA reporting permanent skin color changes associated with use of Daytrana patch (Methylphenidate transdermal system) for treating ADHD. FDA.

  5. Morton WA, Stockton GG. Methylphenidate abuse and psychiatric side effects. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2000;2(5):159-164.

Additional Reading

By Toketemu Ohwovoriole
Toketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics.