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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:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to methylphenidate or to other components of the patch (such as polyester, ethylene vinyl acetate, acrylic adhesives, silicone adhesives, or fluoropolymer). Do not use this medicine if you have glaucoma or if you are anxious, tense, or agitated most of the time. Do not use this medicine if you have muscle tics or a history of Tourette syndrome. Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® in the past 14 days.

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. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • The Medication Guide will show the body areas where you can wear the patch. The patch is usually placed on your hip. When you put on a new patch, do not put it on the same place you wore the last one.
  • Cut the package open carefully. Do not cut the patch itself. Never wear a patch that has been cut or damaged.
  • 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.
  • Apply the patch right away after you remove it from the pouch or sealed wrapper.
  • Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin.
  • If a patch comes off, do not touch the sticky side. Put on a new patch in a different spot on the same hip. Remove the new patch at the same time that you would have removed the old one.
  • Never wear 2 patches at the same time. Always make sure the old patch is off before you apply a new one.
  • Do not wear a patch for longer than 9 hours a day. If you put on a new patch because one fell off, the combined time of both patches should still not be longer than 9 hours. Use the chart that comes with the patient instructions to help you keep track of how long to wear the patch.
  • Take the patch off by slowly peeling it back. You may use mineral oil or petroleum jelly if needed to make the patch less sticky.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you forget to apply the patch at the usual time, you may apply it later in the day. Remove it at the time you normally would, so you do not have side effects later in the day or into the evening (such as trouble sleeping that night).

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.Do not store unopened or unused patches in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • 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 out of the reach of children. 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 are also using cold or allergy medicine, medicine to lower blood pressure (such as amlodipine, atenolol, captopril, hydrochlorothiazide, lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), medicine for seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, Dilantin®, Mysoline®), or medicine to treat depression (such as citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, imipramine, paroxetine, sertraline, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Lexapro®, Pristiq®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart, heart rhythm, blood vessel, or circulation problems (such as Raynaud phenomenon), or high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you suffer from depression, bipolar, or mental illness, or if you have skin problems (such as eczema or psoriasis) or history of seizures or drug or alcohol dependence.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • 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 until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause Raynaud phenomenon, which is a problem with the blood circulation in your fingers or toes. Tell your doctor if you have tingling or pain, cold feeling, paleness, or skin color changes in the fingers or toes, especially when exposed to cold. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained sores or ulcers on your fingers or toes.
  • 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.
  • 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 do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. You will also need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it.

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
  • Blurred vision or changes in vision
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Mood or mental changes, confusion, or unusual behavior
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Seizure, tremors, twitching
  • Severe redness, swelling, itching, or blistering of the skin where the patch is worn

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

  • Decreased appetite, weight loss
  • Feeling restless or nervous
  • Mild redness or itching where a patch was applied
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold

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

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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