Daytrana (methylphenidate) is a brand-name drug prescribed for ADHD in certain children. Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch that’s typically applied once per day for up to 9 hours. The dosage can vary.

Daytrana belongs to a drug class called central nervous system stimulants. Daytrana is available in a generic version.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Daytrana, including its strengths and how to apply the medication. For a comprehensive look at Daytrana, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Daytrana provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When applying Daytrana, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Below is information about Daytrana’s recommended dosages.

Daytrana form

Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch that you apply to the skin. “Transdermal” means the active drug is absorbed through your skin.

Daytrana strengths

Daytrana comes in four strengths:

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

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to follow the dosage your doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Daytrana is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 6–17 years old.

If your doctor prescribes Daytrana, the starting dose will likely be 10 milligrams (mg) per day. Typically, the patch is applied daily and worn for up to 9 hours per day. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the exact wear time.

After a week, your doctor may recommend increasing the dosage. The typically recommended dosage of Daytrana for ADHD ranges from 10–30 mg per day. The maximum dosage that’s recommended is 30 mg per day, applied to the skin for up to 9 hours.

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Daytrana is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Daytrana is safe and effective, you’ll likely continue Daytrana treatment long term.

If you have questions about your treatment plan, talk with your doctor for more information.

The Daytrana dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you have. To find out what drugs may interact with Daytrana, see the “Interactions” section in this article.

Daytrana comes as a transdermal patch that’s applied to the skin. (“Transdermal” means the active drug is absorbed through your skin.) You should use Daytrana according to the instructions your doctor gives you. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Apply Daytrana to the skin of the hip area.
  • Be sure the area is clean and dry, and the patch won’t rub against clothing.
  • Smooth the sticky side of the patch on your hip and gently press for 30 seconds.
  • After you remove the patch, fold it in half and flush it down the toilet.
  • Alternate hips each day.
  • Wash your hands after handling the patch.

If you have questions about how to apply and remove Daytrana, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also view the drug manufacturer’s step-by-step instructions.

If you’re a parent or caregiver, you should assist young children in applying Daytrana.

Note: Daytrana works best when applied about 2 hours before the desired effect is needed. For example, if your child begins school at 8:00 a.m., apply Daytrana by 6:00 a.m.


Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you miss a dose of Daytrana, apply the patch as soon as you remember. However, you should still remove the patch at the regular time. Leaving the patch on too late in the day can increase the risk of bothersome side effects. This can include difficulty sleeping at night. (To learn about Daytrana’s side effects, see the “Side effects” section in this article.)

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Daytrana has a boxed warning about the risks of misuse and addiction. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

With misuse, a drug is taken or used in a way other than how it’s prescribed. With addiction, a drug is taken even though it’s causing harm.

Daytrana has risks of misuse and addiction because it’s a stimulant. The use of medications in this drug class may lead to severe changes in blood pressure, body temperature, , and even death in rare cases. Applying the drug more frequently or at higher doses than prescribed increases the risk. Combining Daytrana with other drugs, medications, or alcohol also increases the risk.

To learn about Daytrana’s recommended dosages, see the “Daytrana dosage” section above.

Before prescribing Daytrana, your doctor will determine whether it’s safe for you. They may not prescribe Daytrana if you’ve ever had substance use disorder.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about Daytrana and misuse.

It’s important that you do not use more Daytrana than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, using more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.

Effects of an overdose

Overdose effects of Daytrana can include:

If you use more than the recommended amount of Daytrana

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve used too much Daytrana. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Treatment with Daytrana can cause dependence. With dependence, your body becomes used to a drug and needs it to function. This means you may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop Daytrana treatment after regular treatment with the drug for some time. Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that happen after you stop treatment with a drug your body has become dependent on.

Symptoms of withdrawal after abruptly stopping Daytrana include:

These symptoms can be very uncomfortable but they’re not typically life threatening.

You and your doctor will evaluate your Daytrana treatment periodically. If a decision is made to stop treatment, your doctor will slowly lower your dose over time. This is known as a dose taper. A dose taper helps reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

Tapering Daytrana could last several weeks or even months. The exact time needed to taper the dose depends on certain factors. These include your dosage and length of treatment.

Do not stop Daytrana treatment unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so. If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor for more information.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Daytrana.

Is the dosage of Daytrana similar to the dosage of Adderall?

No, the dosage of Daytrana isn’t similar to the dosage of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine). The forms and how often you take or use each drug are different. Daytrana is a transdermal patch that you apply to your skin for up to 9 hours per day. Adderall comes as an oral tablet and extended-release* oral capsule. The medication is typically taken once or twice per day.

These medications also contain different active ingredients. Daytrana contains the active drug methylphenidate, and Adderall contains the active drugs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Some of the doses in milligrams (mg) for each medication are similar. Both Daytrana and Adderall come in strengths of 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg. Adderall also comes in strengths of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 12.5 mg, and 25 mg.

Because Daytrana and Adderall have different active ingredients, they don’t necessarily work the same way in the body. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Extended release means the drug releases slowly into the body over time.

How long does it take for Daytrana to start working?

Daytrana starts to work after the first application of the transdermal patch. You may notice a change in your symptoms within about 2 hours of applying the patch.

Daytrana lasts up to 9 hours. Only leave Daytrana on the skin for as long as your doctor prescribes.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Daytrana treatment.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Daytrana, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Daytrana without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Daytrana that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Daytrana. These additional articles might be helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.