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Daytrana skin patch for ADHD just approved

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Dr. Dombeck received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1995 ...Read More

The pharmaceutical company Shire has announced it has gained FDA approval for a new ADHD medication “patch” delivery mechanism. The new product, called Daytrana, is essentially the same old useful medication for ADHD, methylphenidate (aka amphetamine) that has been prescribed for ADHD for years and which is known to be effective. The thing that is new here is the delivery mechanism. Past ADHD stimulant formulations were delivered orally, in pill form. Unbuffered oral administration of any drug can lead to a spike in blood concentrations for that drug, typically followed by a falling off of drug levels as time goes on. Such unevenness of drug blood saturation across time could lead to inconsistant drug effects. Very large spikes in a stimulant drug such as is typically used for ADHD could also be used to get “high”. While ADHD pills are buffered for time-release, they are still not perfect in this regard. The new skin-patch technology is essentially a push at making a better buffering technology for the medication. Daytrana is absorbed through the skin via a fabric patch which has been impregnated with the ADHD drug. The new technology apparently helps the drug get into the body in a more controled time-release fashion than what was possible before, which means that there is never a rush of stimulant, but instead, an even distribution of the drug across time. One would think also that a drug administered in patch form might be harder to abuse or resell too. Those darn kids are creative, however, and I won’t be surprised if/when we soon hear about a black market in Daytrana patches …

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