Daytrana (methylphenidate) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It comes as a transdermal patch that’s usually applied to the skin once per day.

Daytrana is prescribed to treat ADHD in children ages 6–17 years.

The active ingredient in Daytrana is methylphenidate. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Daytrana belongs to a group of drugs called stimulants. This article describes the dosages of Daytrana, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Daytrana, see this in-depth article.

This section describes the usual dosages of Daytrana. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Daytrana’s form?

Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch that’s applied to the skin.

What strengths does Daytrana come in?

Daytrana comes in four strengths:

  • 10 milligrams (mg)
  • 15 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg

What are the usual dosages of Daytrana for children?

Your child’s doctor will likely prescribe a low dosage at first, then adjust it over time to reach the right amount for them. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to give your child the dosage their doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the dosage that’s right for your child.

Dosage for ADHD

Daytrana is used to treat ADHD in children ages 6–17 years.

The starting dosage is one 10-mg patch per day. The patch is usually applied each day about 2 hours before its effect is needed. The patch can be left in place for up to 9 hours. Your child’s doctor will recommend the amount of time your child should wear each patch.

Your child’s doctor may increase the dosage weekly until it provides the desired effect. The usual dosage range for Daytrana is 10–30 mg per day. The maximum recommended dosage is one 30-mg patch per day.

For more information about Daytrana’s dosage, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.

Is Daytrana prescribed long term?

Yes, Daytrana is usually prescribed as a long-term treatment. If you, your child, and your child’s doctor determine that it’s safe and effective, Daytrana will likely be prescribed long term.

The dosage of Daytrana your child is prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the condition the child is using the drug to treat
  • side effects the child may have
  • other medications the child is prescribed

Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch that’s applied to the skin. Your child will follow the instructions their doctor provides. Below are a few key points they’ll follow for applying and removing the patch:

  • Apply the sticky side of one new patch to a clean, dry area of your hip. Be sure to alternate hips each day.
  • Press gently for at least 30 seconds.
  • After removing the patch, fold it in half so the sticky sides are touching, and dispose of the used patch right away. You can flush the used patch down the toilet or place it in a lidded trash can.
  • Wash your hands after handling each patch.

For detailed instructions, visit the drug manufacturer’s website. You can also follow these written instructions.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Daytrana, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist. You can also see the “Expiration” section of this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your child’s doctor or a pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If a dose of Daytrana is missed, apply the patch as soon as you or your child remembers. But the patch should still be removed at the usual time. This is because the patch works for up to 9 hours after it’s applied. If the patch is left on too late in the day, the child may have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.

If you’re not sure whether to apply the patch or skip it that day, talk with the child’s doctor or a pharmacist.

If your child needs help remembering to apply Daytrana on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a reminder app on your phone.

Daytrana has boxed warnings about the risk of misuse and addiction. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Misuse refers to using the patch in a way other than how a doctor prescribes it. For example, misuse includes applying more patches than recommended by a doctor. It also includes attempting to swallow the drug by chewing or sucking on the patch.

Addiction refers to the feeling that you’re unable to stop using the drug even though it may be causing harm.

Misuse and addiction increase the risk of overdose, which can lead to trouble breathing, coma, and even death.

Due to these risks, Daytrana is a controlled substance. This means the government regulates the way the drug is prescribed and dispensed. The patch should be applied only as your child’s doctor has prescribed it. Daytrana should also be stored in a secure location in your home so that visitors to the home do not have access to it.

If you have questions about the risk of misuse and addiction with Daytrana, talk with your child’s doctor.

Do not apply more Daytrana than your child’s doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

In extreme cases, overdose may lead to coma or death.

What to do in case your child receives too much Daytrana

Call your child’s doctor right away if you think your child has received too much Daytrana. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if your child has severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or take them to the nearest emergency room.

Long-term treatment with Daytrana can lead to physical dependence. This condition occurs when the body relies on a drug to function as usual.

If your child suddenly stops Daytrana treatment, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These are side effects that can occur when stopping a drug the body has become dependent on.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include:

  • feeling dissatisfied, uneasy, depressed, or agitated
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • unpleasant dreams
  • sleep changes, such as difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • increased appetite
  • difficulty with speech or movement

Before ending Daytrana treatment, your child’s doctor may slowly lower the dosage. This can help reduce your child’s risk of withdrawal symptoms after stopping treatment.

If your child has withdrawal symptoms after stopping Daytrana, talk with their doctor. They can recommend ways to ease these symptoms.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Daytrana’s dosage.

Is Daytrana’s dosage similar to the dosages of Ritalin?

Not necessarily. Daytrana is a transdermal patch applied to the skin once per day. Ritalin (methylphenidate) comes in oral forms that are taken up to three times per day.

Both drugs are prescribed to treat ADHD in children. But the dose in milligrams for each drug differs. Your child’s doctor will prescribe the drug and dosage that’s right for your child.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your child’s doctor.

How long does it take for Daytrana to start working?

Daytrana starts to work about 2 hours after the patch is applied. The patch is typically left in place for up to 9 hours.

If you have other questions about what to expect from Daytrana treatment, talk with your child’s doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the manufacturer. If your child’s doctor recommends Daytrana, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for your child.

Remember, you should not change your child’s dosage of Daytrana without their doctor’s recommendation. Only apply Daytrana exactly as prescribed. Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions or concerns about their current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your child’s doctor:

  • Does the Daytrana dosage need to change if my child is prescribed other drugs along with it?
  • Should the Daytrana dosage change if the drug isn’t working well enough for my child’s condition?
  • Does a higher Daytrana dosage increase my child’s risk of side effects?
  • Does the dosage depend on my child’s body weight?

To learn more about Daytrana, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.