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Precautions and Warnings With the Methylphenidate Patch

Some Precautions and Warnings With the Methylphenidate Patch

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of with the methylphenidate patch include the following:
  • Stimulants (including the methylphenidate patch) are often abused. Taking high doses of the methylphenidate patch for long periods of time can lead to drug dependence (see Daytrana Abuse). Because stimulants are so commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing the methylphenidate patch (see Daytrana: A Controlled Substance for more information). The patches should be used cautiously in cases involving people with a history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
  • In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), the methylphenidate patch can worsen psychotic symptoms that include thought disorders and behavior problems. It may also worsen bipolar symptoms, especially manic symptoms. The methylphenidate patch can also cause psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations) in people who have never had such problems in the past. Let your healthcare provider know if your child is behaving strangely or is having hallucinations.
  • Sometimes medications for ADHD can make children more aggressive. Tell your healthcare provider if your child is acting more aggressive than usual.
  • Stimulants used to treat ADHD have been associated with problems in blood vessels in the fingers and toes, sometimes causing problems such as Raynaud's disease. Alert your healthcare provider to any signs of this problem, such as cold or numb toes or fingers. 
  • Sudden death has been reported in children, adolescents, and adults with heart problems who took normal doses of medications similar to the methylphenidate patch. If your child has heart problems, ask your child's healthcare provider whether the patch is appropriate for your child. Also, let your healthcare provider know if your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
  • The methylphenidate patch can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is an increased risk for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or who have recently had a heart attack.
  • Stimulants such as the methylphenidate patch can increase the risk of seizures, especially in people who have had seizures before. Talk to your healthcare provider before using the patch if you have a history of seizures.
  • The methylphenidate patch can cause allergic reactions. Usually, mild redness of the skin is normal and is not a sign of an allergic reaction. However, you should tell your healthcare provider right away if you notice blistering or swelling of the skin. It is possible that if you become allergic to the methylphenidate patch, you may also be allergic to other forms of methylphenidate.
  • There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
  • Stimulants such as the methylphenidate patch can cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less than an inch and less than six pounds over three years). Your child's growth should be monitored while he or she is using the methylphenidate patch.
  • The methylphenidate patch can cause blurred vision and other vision problems.
  • The methylphenidate patch can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With the Methylphenidate Patch).
  • The methylphenidate patch is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before using the methylphenidate patch during pregnancy (see Daytrana and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is not known if the medication from the methylphenidate patch passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the methylphenidate patch.
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