Success for New ADHD Patch

There are patches for quitting smoking, and patches for birth control — so why not a patch for ADHD? Early clinical trials suggest that a methylphenidate transdermal system (MTS), or patch, demonstrated statistically significant reductions in the symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and was generally well tolerated in patients aged 6 to 12.

About the ADHD Patch

With typical drug company self-promotional flare, a press release this morning described the initial results of clinical trials for the methylphenidate transdermal system:

“Children with ADHD must cope with symptoms throughout the day and in a variety of environments, such as in the classroom, during after-school activities, or while at home,” explained Sharon Wigal, Ph.D., associate clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine Child Development Center. “While oral methylphenidate has long been a first-line treatment for patients with ADHD symptoms, if approved, this transdermal patch formulation would provide health care professionals and parents the first and only non-oral medication for children with the disorder.”

The MTS patch was developed by Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and combines the active ingredient of methylphenidate with Noven’s patented DOT Matrix transdermal technology. This transdermal delivery system was designed to provide continuous medication release throughout the day. The transdermal system releases medication that passes through the skin and directly into the blood stream. The patch is water-resistant.

The press release goes on:

In the phase III naturalistic trial with 270 participants, investigators found that MTS worn for nine hours reduced the children’s overall symptoms of ADHD, compared to a placebo (P < 0.0001), as measured by scores on the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS). By the study's end, mean ADHD-RS scores declined –24.2 points (56%) from baseline for children treated with MTS versus a decline of –9.9 (24%) for those treated with placebo (P < 0.0001). ADHD-RS assesses 18 individual symptoms of ADHD as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

In both studies, MTS was generally well tolerated during both the dose optimization and double-blind phases. Adverse events typically were mild to moderate, resolved with continued therapy and were consistent with known effects of methylphenidate. The most common adverse events reported by patients who received MTS in clinical trials were: nausea, vomiting, nasopharyngitis, weight decreased, anorexia, decreased appetite, affect lability, insomnia, tic, and nasal congestion.

About MTS

MTS is not intended to be administered to patients with: marked anxiety, tension or agitation; allergies to methylphenidate or other ingredients in MTS; skin sensitivities to soaps, lotions, cosmetics or adhesives; eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis or sensitive skin syndrome. MTS has not been studied in children under 6 years of age. Patients will be advised to avoid direct external heat to the patch application site. MTS will need to be stored in a safe place, out of the reach of children.

Methylphenidate should not be administered to patients with: glaucoma; tics, Tourette’s syndrome or a family history of Tourette’s syndrome; current or recent use of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Chronic abuse of methylphenidate may lead to dependence and careful supervision following withdrawal from abuse is warranted. Methylphenidate should not be given to patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism. Methylphenidate should not be used for the prevention or treatment of severe depression or normal fatigue states. Growth should be monitored in patients treated with methylphenidate. Use with caution in patients with psychosis, history of seizures or EEG abnormalities, hypertension, and history of drug dependence or alcoholism. Rare cases of visual disturbances have been reported with methylphenidate use. Hematologic monitoring is advised during prolonged therapy.

About ADHD

ADHD affects approximately 7.8 percent of all school-age children, more than 4 million in the United States. ADHD is considered the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. ADHD is a neurological brain disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable age and maturity. If untreated, ADHD can acutely affect a child’s life, leading to problems with family members, friends, sports, after-school activities and academics.

Problems With the Daytrana Patch?

UPDATE, APRIL 2007: Please note we’ve begun a new discussion thread (“Problems With the Daytrana ADHD Patch?”) where visitors are reporting on their experiences — both good and bad — with the new ADHD patch.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was last reviewed or updated by on .

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