Written by: Cary Riker
Ahh…ADD, how I love thee, let me count the ways… forgetful, disorganized, tardy, unfocused, fidgety, impulsive…
Our world is not designed for some kinds of people, so we say they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I’m sure that ADD/ADHD people functioned just fine when living involved hunting bears and fighting off opposing clans, when life was deduced down to survival skills, when energy and resourcefulness got you through the day, as opposed to the dayplanner or PDA. Today, these people, people like me, struggle for simple survival because the world plays to our weaknesses: punctuality, responsibility, predictability, an incredibly high tolerance for boredom, remembering mundane details, and sitting down—a lot.
At least there are people out there trying to help us deal with this. They make things like Daytrona, a patch, or Methylphenidate Transdermal System, containing the stimulant medication Methylphenidate, commonly called Ritalin. Daytrona is prescribed to children, adolescents, and adults, and is available in 10, 15, 20, and 30 mg patches. Doctors commonly prescribe Daytrona to people for whom conventional oral administrations do not work. When I took the oral form of Ritalin, it bothered my stomach, so my doctor suggested that I give this a try, adding that I might still have some digestive problems. While my stomach is not perfect, having the patch has reduced my stomach problems considerably. But there are many other reasons a doctor might chose to prescribe Daytrona.
When the medicine is absorbed through the skin, there is a reduction in the effects of withdraw sometimes experienced when oral administrations wear off. I can tell you from personal experience that this makes a big difference to me. When I was in school, my mother would pick me up at the end of the day, and I would be coming down from my oral Ritalin. “Hi honey, how are you?” “Fine.” “How was school?” “Fine.” I was grumpy, curt, and out of sorts, and didn’t know that one of the reasons for this was because my medication was wearing off. (I’m sure adolescent angst had something to do with it, too.)
Now, when I take off the patch at the close of day, the effects just wear off, without my noticing anything at all. My husband certainly appreciates this. I have to take it off fairly early in the evening—no later than 7pm—or else it will help to keep me up at night as the effects linger a while after removal.
Some people shy away from stimulant medications because they are controlled substances and have the potential for abuse. The patch might be something to consider in these situations. It’s still a controlled substance, but I have no idea how on earth you could abuse a patch.
Reduced side effects
No “come down” when the medication wears off
Effects easily ramp up and down
Reduced stomach issues
Limited abuse potential
The glue left behind
The difference in the adhesive from box to box: some boxes the glue is too sticky and I have to pumice it off in the shower, while others are not sticky enough and come off during the day
Sometimes it’s a little slow kicking in when I need it in the morning
Overall, I recommend this administration of methylphenidate over the traditional pills. Although there are drawbacks to Daytrona, they are minor in comparison to the benefits that I experience. I still get some of the common side effects—sweaty palms and cold hands, and the like—but, they are much reduced.
Disclaimer: This review was not written by a doctor. I’m only writing from my personal experience. Methylphenidate is a controlled substance and can be habit-forming. It is only available by prescription.