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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

ADHD Patch Bleaches Skin, Teenager Says

(CN) - The only skin-patch applicator of drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder gave a teenager vitiligo, or loss of skin pigmentation, his guardian says. Noven Pharmaceuticals' and Shire Pharmaceuticals' drug, Daytrana, brought in $64.2 million in sales in 2007, according to the complaint in Orange County Court, Calif.

Noven and Shire's Daytrana is "the first and only patch approved for the treatment of ADHD," according to the complaint. Patients wear the patch on their hips, where it transmits a central nervous stimulant into the bloodstream.

Ryan Alldredge, through his guardian at litem David Alldredge, says his neurologist, Dr. Leslie Brody, prescribed him the drug when it came on the market in 2006, but did not warn him that he could develop "drug-induced depigmentation at the site of the application of the Daytrana patches."

Vitiligo occurs from dying or nonfunctioning melanocytes cells, which are responsible for skin pigmentation, according to the complaint.

Alldredge claims he first noticed redness on his hips where he wore the patch, but Dr. Brody assured him that the reaction was normal and recommended applying lotion to the areas. By March 2008, the plaintiff says he developed white circles on his left and right hips that were 8 inches in diameter.

The next year a dermatologist diagnosed 16-year-old Alldredge as having lost all pigment on the areas where he wore the patch, and the dermatology department at University of California - San Francisco confirmed the diagnosis, according to the complaint.

Alldredge says he had no previous skin problems, but is now at greater risk for developing skin cancer, particularly if the bleached skin is exposed to sunlight. He also faces ridicule from his peers because living in a coastal community and playing water polo ensures that he is "consistently required to wear a bathing suit."

Aldredge sued Shire, Noven and Brody, alleging medical negligence, product liability, breach of warranty and negligence.

He is represented by Thomas Cifarelli of Santa Ana, Calif.

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