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Daytrana Update

ADHD Medication Basics


Updated January 26, 2008

Daytrana is the new methylphenidate or Ritalin patch.

Since you have to put the Daytrana patch on in the morning and then take it off in the afternoon, which is an extra step versus simply taking a pill or capsule once in the morning, many people didn't think Daytrana would be very popular.

Especially since many kids have extracurricular activities at school or go to daycare after school, making sure that you have someone to take off the patch may not be easy.

Daytrana is finding its uses though.

One of the most obvious situations when Daytrana would be useful would be for kids who don't like to take their medicine in the morning. Even though you can open the capsules of many ADHD medicines, including Adderall XR, Focalin XR, and Ritalin LA, many kids still refuse to take their medicine each morning. Or if they do eventually take their medicine, it is only have a long battle.

Being able to simply place a Daytrana patch on these children can be a nice alternative to trying to get them to take a pill or capsule. Of course they can just take it off, but for most of these kids it is not so much taking their medicine that causes the battle, but just taking the pills that has turned into a power struggle. Offering a new option for taking their medicine often helps you both get out of the power struggle.

Daytrana also offers more flexibility than other ADHD medicines. For example, if your child sleeps in on the weekend and takes Adderall XR or Concerta, if it is after 9 or 10am, you would probably have to skip their dose for the day or risk their not being able to sleep that night. With Daytrana, you could still put their patch on at take it off and the regular time in the afternoon and simply wear it for a shorter amount of time that day.

Although this would be considered an off-label use of Daytrana, some parents are allowing their children to wear them longer than the approved 9 hours on those days when they need extra coverage in the afternoon. Just be careful though, because the longer you wear a Daytrana patch, the more likely that your child will have trouble going to sleep that night.

Keep in mind that Daytrana patches last much longer than 12 hours if you forget and leave it on your child.

Daytrana Experiences

Daytrana is supposed to continue working about 3 hours after you take the patch off. Some parents are reporting that they are seeing a much shorter duration of action though, with the patch wearing off within an hour or so after they remove it. If that happens, you may have to discuss with your Pediatrician about when you should remove it. If you think about it, having it wear off quickly after you take it off is probably what you want, since you have much greater control over how it works...

Other parents are reporting problems removing the Daytrana patches from the protective liner and/or problems getting the patches to stick on their child's skin. Be sure to follow the instructions on applying Daytrana carefully and apply pressure for 30 seconds as instructed.

Strategies To Improve Coping for Kids and Families or STICK is a support program for parents of kids using Daytrana and may be helpful if you are having problems with your Daytrana patches.

Daytrana Coupons

While most ADHD medicines offer trial coupons to help parents get started on them, Daytrana has an innovative coupon to help you find the right dose. Instead of a single coupon for a one month supply, the company that makes Daytrana offers a debit card that provides 40 free patches. So you could start by getting 10 free 10mg patches, and then later get another 10 free 15 or 20mg patches if those aren't strong enough. If those seem okay, you can still get another 20 free 20mg patches to see how it works on a more long term basis or get some 30mg Daytrana patches instead.

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