Methylphenidate (Absorbed through the skin)


Methylphenidate (meth-il-FEN-i-date)

Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medicine is a stimulant.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not apply this medicine if you or your child have had an allergic reaction to methylphenidate or to silicone adhesives. You should not use this medicine if you or your child have glaucoma, or if you are anxious, tense, or agitated most of the time. You should not use this medicine if you or your child have muscle tics or a history of Tourette's syndrome, a condition that causes you to have muscle twitches or to make sounds you are not able to control. Do not use this medicine if you or your child have taken a medicine for depression called an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®, in the past 14 days. This medicine should not be given to a child who is younger than 6 years of age unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
  • The Medication Guide will show the body areas where you or your child can wear the patch. When putting on each new patch, choose a different place within these areas. Do not put the new patch on the same place you or your child wore the last one. Be sure to remove the old patch before applying a new one.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch. Make sure the skin area is clean (freshly washed), dry, cool, and free of any powder, oil, or lotion before you apply the patch.
  • Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
  • Apply the patch right away after removing it from the pouch or sealed wrapper.
  • Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin.
  • Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied. Remove the new patch 9 hours after the first patch for that day was applied.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. There is still enough medicine in a used patch to make a child or pet very sick. When throwing away a patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together and flush it down the toilet, and then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. When you stop treatment with this medicine, take all of the leftover patches out of the pouches and flush them down the toilet. Do not flush the pouches or the protective liners down the toilet. Put them in a trash can with a cover. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are also using cold or allergy medicines, clonidine (Catapres®) or other medicines to lower blood pressure (such as captopril, metoprolol, Capoten®, or Lopressor®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin or Coumadin®), medicines for seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, Dilantin®, or Mysoline®), or medicines to treat depression (such as clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, imipramine, paroxetine, Anafranil®, Celexa®, Effexor®, Lexapro?, Norpramin®, Paxil®, Tofranil®, or Zoloft®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, or if you or your child have epilepsy, a history of seizures, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, depression or mental illness, thyroid problems, skin problems (such as eczema or psoriasis), or history of drug or alcohol dependence.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you or your family notices any unusual changes in behavior, such as an increase in aggression, hostility, agitation, irritability, or suicidal thinking or behaviors. Also tell your doctor if you have hallucinations or any unusual thoughts, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. It may also cause blurred vision or other vision problems. If any of these occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or not able to see well.
  • This medicine may cause slow growth. If your child is using this medicine, the doctor will need to keep track of your child's height and weight to make sure that your child is growing properly.
  • This medicine may cause skin irritation. Tell your doctor about any skin rash that occurs where this medicine is applied.
  • Avoid putting this medicine near external sources of direct heat, such as hair dryers, heating pads, electric blankets, heated water beds, or hot tubs.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Changes in vision.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Mood or mental changes, confusion, or unusual behavior.
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Severe redness, swelling, itching, or blistering of the skin where the patch is worn.
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements or twitching.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Decreased appetite.
  • Feeling restless or nervous.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Warmth or redness in your child's face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
  • Weight loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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