How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System? 4 Best Ways To Find Out

Adderall is a highly stimulant drug and using it beyond safe levels or beyond what is prescribed to you, can make you a victim of Adderall abuse. In this article, a lot of phenomena related to the use of Adderall which includes, but are not limited to the ones mentioned above, will be covered which also includes the big question of how long Adderall stay in your system.

You might have your own reasons to know how long Adderall stays in your system but what is important is the fact that to know how long Adderall stay in your system requires having a general knowledge of a few things about the drug.

1. What is Adderall?

Adderall is the commercial name for a drug that is made up of a combination of four salts of amphetamine and a part of dextroamphetamine. It is made up of equal parts of these two Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants.

Dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine are two enantiomers of amphetamine and they exist in a 3:1 ratio in the drug. It can be used for instant release and extended-release (Adderall XR).

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System
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2. What Is Adderall Used For?

Medically and legitimately, it is used for a mental health disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which tampers the cognition process of an individual and harms their ability to pay attention.

It is also used for treating a condition called narcolepsy1 which is a chronic sleep disorder that causes day drowsiness and can cause sudden ‘sleep attacks’. The purpose you use it for determines the dose you need, which further determines how long Adderall stay in your system.

Apart from these reasons, some people might also use Adderall for purposes other than to treat behavioural health conditions. The drug can be used as a performance enhancer, most commonly by athletes, and some might use it for recreational purposes.

The people who use it for these purposes most often want to know how long Adderall stays in your system.

3. How Does Adderall Work?

As mentioned before, Adderall is a combination of two stimulants called amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These stimulant substances increase the activity of the Central Nervous System (CNS) of your body and give a boost to the neuro-transmitters of your body.

The central nervous system, or CNS2, controls most functions of the body and is constituted majorly by the brain and the spinal cord. When Adderall stimulates it, effects in the form of increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, long periods of focus and productivity, minimized feelings of restlessness and less fidgeting, increased alertness and an improved and increased attention span.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Adderall comes in two forms- instant release or Adderall IR which can be taken once or twice a day and lasts for four to six hours, and extended-release or Adderall XR which should only be taken once a day.

The extended-release capsule lasts for eight to ten hours a day. The type of drug you consume can also affect how long Adderall stay in your system.

4. What Are the Side Effects of Adderall?

Like every other drug, Adderall too, has a list of side effects. But, when taking the drug, it is important to remember that your doctor has prescribed you the medicine because they believe that the drug’s work outweighs the risk of its side effects. How long Adderall stay in your system can impact the amount of time you experience its side effects.

4.1. Adderall IR

A few benefits of the Adderall IR drug are that it is a relatively cheaper medicine, it can be used alongside non-drug therapy, and it starts working and showing its effects within hours of the consumption of the drug.

But there are also a few downsides of the medicine which include it being unsafe for people with a history of heart diseases, it can also stunt the growth of children who are still growing, the drug can be highly addictive, and it can’t be taken at any time other than morning, otherwise, the consumer can have trouble in sleeping.

Common side effects of Adderall IR include reduced appetite, reduction in body weight, changes in mood, depression, and anger, dry mouth, unpleasant tastes, constipation, diarrhoea, difficulty in erections, rashes, allergic reactions, headaches, trouble sleeping increased heart rate and blood pressure and involuntary muscle movements.

A few other side effects which are not very common are changes in sex drive, hair loss, skin picking disorder or excoriation disorder, shivering and shaking, physical dependence, and deterioration of vision.

4.2. Adderall XR

Most of the side effects of the Adderall XR drug are common to the side effects of Adderall IR. A few additional side effects are nausea, vomiting, fear, anxiety, irritability, fever, tremors, palpability, irregular heartbeat, excitability, headache, difficulty in having an orgasm, and impotence.

how long does adderall stay in your system
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5. What Leads to Adderall Addiction and Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a highly stimulant medication and while taking it might be necessary for some people, the stakes of abusing Adderall and Adderall misuse remain high. Because Adderall is a prescription drug, it can only be obtained by a doctor’s prescription, licensed medical professionals, and other qualified healthcare providers.

Those who misuse Adderall and participate in Adderall drug abuse, either use a fake Adderall prescription, steal someone else’s medication, take more than the recommended doses and some even fake symptoms of ADHD to obtain a prescription.

The number of doses largely affects how long Adderall stays in your system and an overdose can also prove to be lethal.

Misusing Adderall has been commonly associated with young adults and athletes, but a lot of people abuse the drug to stay focused on their work and increase their productivity.

People with eating disorders too have become victims of Adderall abuse as they use it for curbing their hunger and making them lose weight.

Knowing how long Adderall stay in your system helps to decide what dose you should take and how long it will affect you.

6. Why Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine levels in our body’s central nervous system.

Norepinephrine 3is responsible for increasing the heart rate and the speed of pumping blood from the heart which therefore makes it responsible for determining how the brain responds to certain events and external stimuli.

Dopamine 4is the body’s feel-good hormone. It is responsible for your body’s sense of being rewarded and sense of pleasure.

Although dopamine does exist in your body naturally, higher doses of Adderall increase the levels of dopamine which makes you feel good temporarily and makes you crave more Adderall consumption. And these higher doses significantly affect how long Adderall stay in your system.

It is sometimes combined with other medications like Xanax and (or) alcohol.

The world we have created today has developed social institutions which continue to put a lot of pressure on us in various aspects of life. Drugs like Adderall are very commonly available too. Both of these factors contribute to rising the number of cases.

To cope with the pressure which is put on us from all around, we find solace and happiness in drugs like Adderall. But what we sometimes fail to realize is that in the long run, we’re jeopardizing the life of no one else, but us. Addiction can cost a person’s life.

how long does adderall take to leave your system
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7. What Are the Symptoms of Adderall Addiction?

The signs of having an addiction to Adderall can be different for everyone but some symptoms which are common for everyone include only being able to feel the drug’s effects when you consume it in large quantities, knowing how badly the drug is affecting your body but not taking action to stop consuming it, wanting to stop consuming the drug but not being able to do so, not being able to focus on your work and a stoop in productivity levels when not using the drug.

A constant urge to know how long Adderall stay in your system and then take it accordingly is a giveaway too.

A few other major signs include spending a lot of money on using the drug, spending a lot of money on purchasing the drug, and spending a lot of money on getting help to stop the use of the drug.

8. What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Adderall Addiction?

Symptoms of withdrawal from the addiction to Adderall are depression, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, increased appetite, headache, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, suicidal thoughts, oversleeping, achiness, and nightmares.

how long does adderall stay in your system
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9. How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Now the big question is, how long does Adderall stay in your system actually?

After Adderall is taken into your body, it is absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract. After that, it is either destroyed in your liver or passed out through urine. after 12 hours, only half of the drug remains in your body.

A lot of factors influence how long Adderall stay in your system.

Administrations, employers, coaches, etc. might do a drug test on you to determine if you have used Adderall or related drugs in a while. In these cases, you may really want to know how long Adderall stay in your system.

The drug tests can be in the form of blood tests, urine tests, saliva tests, or a test on your hair sample. The exact answer of how long Adderall stay in your system also depends on the kind of drug tests or drug test that is being run on you.

These are the different methods of detecting Adderall and determining how long Adderall stay in your system exclusively.

9.1. Blood Test

Adderall can be detected very quickly through blood testing. Traces of the drug can be found until 46 hours of last use in blood tests.

9.2. Urine Test

A drug test through urine testing is the most common way to detect Adderall. You can test positive for Adderall use after 72-96 hours after taking Adderall.

9.3. Saliva Test

Saliva tests have proven that you can test positive for Adderall in your saliva after 20-50 hours of consuming the drug.

9.4. Hair Test

Adderall can be detected in hair follicles for up to a month but also, it might not be traceable in those same hair follicles after a week. The safe bet is that hair tests can detect Adderall drug use for up to three months after the last use. Hair tests are also very uncommon.

10. What Determines How Long Adderall Stays in Your System?

A lot of factors influence how long Adderall stay in your system. How long does it take to remove Adderall and how long does Adderall stay in your system compared to the other drugs depends on these factors.

10.1. Your Body Composition

What we mean by body composition is also related to your body type. It is so because people who weigh more or have more body fat require more doses for the drug to work. The higher body weight you have, the longer Adderall stays in your system.

10.2. The Dosage

The dose you take also determines how long Adderall remains in your body. The higher dose you take will directly affect how long Adderall stays in your system. This means the higher the doses, the longer the drug stays in your body.

10.3. Your Rate of Metabolism

The higher your rate of metabolism, the shorter time it will take for the drug to leave your body because a higher metabolism rate will mean that the drug will metabolize faster.

Your organ functioning efficiency influences how long Adderall stay in your system

Breaking down of Adderall depends on your liver and kidneys mainly. Processes like kidney function can start to become inefficient when you reach a certain age. This would mean that unless the organs are functioning properly, flushing out Adderall from your body would be problematic.

Also, as you start to get older, this will become an even more difficult task.

11. In The End

Realizing and accepting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. After that, the road to becoming your best self is hard, but not impossible to cross.

Because of the withdrawal symptoms and unbearable cravings, some people might relapse after they decide to give up Adderall. But, you shouldn’t let this discourage you from giving up the drug.

The next step could be to contact the addiction help centre in your area. You can easily find their contact numbers by Googling them. In most cases, the phone call will be received by a qualified admissions representative and they will guide you with the next steps and the addiction treatment you require.

In some cases, dual diagnosis treatment can be a form of addiction treatment but you should always get professional medical advice to know what suits you. They might also help you know how long Adderall stay in your system.

12. Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can You Take 90 MG of Adderall a Day?

The maximum daily dose would be 40 mg/day for adults and 30 mg/day for children.

Q2. Will Adderall Keep Me Up All Night?

If you’re using Adderall to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD5), you might be surprised to learn how it affects your sleep. As well as being sedative and drowsy, it also increases energy and reduces the need for sleep, possibly causing insomnia in some users.

Q3. Can I Take Caffeine With Adderall?

Drinking coffee while taking Adderall is not recommended. While a small amount of coffee may not worsen the side effects of Adderall, combining the two can increase the risk of side effects such as high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, irritability, and trouble sleeping.

  1. Bassetti, Claudio LA, et al. “European guideline and expert statements on the management of narcolepsy in adults and children.” European journal of neurology 28.9 (2021): 2815-2830. ↩︎
  2. Giovannoni, Federico, and Francisco J. Quintana. “The role of astrocytes in CNS inflammation.” Trends in immunology 41.9 (2020): 805-819. ↩︎
  3. Saboory, Ehsan, Maedeh Ghasemi, and Nasrin Mehranfard. “Norepinephrine, neurodevelopment and behavior.” Neurochemistry international 135 (2020): 104706. ↩︎
  4. Wise, Roy A., and Mykel A. Robble. “Dopamine and addiction.” Annual review of psychology 71 (2020): 79-106. ↩︎
  5. Drechsler, Renate, et al. “ADHD: Current concepts and treatments in children and adolescents.” Neuropediatrics 51.05 (2020): 315-335. ↩︎

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Gauri Singh

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