How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System

How long does adderall stay in your system?

Many people ask how long adderall stay in the human body when taken. This is dependent on many factors like weight, dose, age, urine pH, last time it was used and how often the user takes the drug. Adderall is a prescription drug but it is usually abused.

It is mostly used by people who do not have doctor’s prescription but need to increase their attention and focus. Before answering the question, it is best to explain the drug and its usage, side effects and how it can be abused.


Adderall is an amphetamine that stimulates the central nervous system. It is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug is a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, it comes in a capsule and tablet form. Adderall is also used to treat a type of sleeping disorder known as narcolepsy, recovery from stroke and severe depression as well although used as off label drug. 

Adderall improve ADHD symptoms in about 70% of adults and 70% to 80% of children shortly after starting treatment. Improvements include reduced interrupting, fidgeting, and other hyperactive symptoms, as well as improved task completion and home relationships. 


People who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not have enough neurotransmitter known as dopamine in their brain. This causes them to get easily distracted and engage in impulsive behavior. 

When Adderall is taken into the body, it is absorbed through the tract before it is broken down by the liver. The drug works by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing the amount of dopamine that is released into the brain. The more dopamine is released, the more people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to focus and pay more attention.


To know the length of time adderall stays in the body, it is best to know how much it stays in the body before being detected through tests. These tests are the best ways to know if a person has used adderall.

1. Urine

Adderall can last in the urine for about 48 to 72 hours sometimes up to 96 hours after it is used. Urine test is the best and most accurate way to know how long Adderall has been in the body.

2. Blood

Adderall is detected in the blood for up to 48 hours after being used. In fact, blood test can be used to detect the drug immediately after it has been used. 

3. Hair

The drug can last in the hair for up to 3 months after it has been used. It may not be the most common test but it is accurate.

4. Saliva

Adderall stays in the saliva for up to 20 to 50 hours after it has been used. 

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?


There are so many factors that can determine how long Adderall stays in the body before it is passed out through urine.

Some of these factors are:

1. Body Structure and Composition

The body structure include your weight, height and the amount of fats you have. These compositions can tell how much your body will be able to hold Adderall before it is metabolized and passed out. People who have larger body structure needs more doses of the drug which means the body will need longer time to absorb and break down the drug. However, a study by the National Institute of Health suggested that taking drugs like Adderall according to body weight can make the drug to clear from the body faster in those who have larger bodies.

2. Dosage

Adderall comes in different forms like tablets and capsules and strengths from 5 mg to 30 mg. High doses may take the body longer time to fully absorb and break them down, so they tend to stay longer. Also, there are immediate and extended-release versions of Adderall which means it takes them different times to be dissolved by the body. This has an effect on how long they will last.

3. Metabolism

The amount of enzymes we have in our bodies are different. These enzymes are responsible for metabolizing, or breaking down, drugs such as Adderall. The metabolic rate can be affected by activities, gender and other medications that were taken as well. The faster your metabolism rate is, the shorter time drugs and substances will last in your body. 

4. Organ Function

The gastrointestinal tract is responsible for absorbing Adderall, the liver absorbs the drug while the kidneys flush it out after metabolism. When there is any dysfunction or problem with any of these organs, the drug will stay for a longer time in the body. 

5. PH level

The level of pH in a person’s urine can determine the length of time the drug will stay before being removed. People with high level of pH in their urine will get rid of the drug more slowly than in others.

6. Age

Age has lots of influence on how long Adderall can stay in the body. This is because as you age, the size of your liver goes down and it will take longer time for foods and substances including drugs to be broken down. The kidney decreases in its function as well, the amount of urine released as we age decrease. So, Adderall will stay in the kidney for longer time. The body composition generally changes as you get older, it will take the body longer time to break down things and get rid of materials too.


The length of time it takes Adderall to have effect in the body depends on the formulation. However, immediate-release form of Adderall starts to take effects in the body within 30 minutes of taking it, this is why it is called immediate-release. Extended-release version on the other hand, takes an hour or more to start taking effects while the side reactions can last up to 12 hours. 


The half life of a drug means the amount of time half of a drug’s active substance last in a body. Adderall is formulated with two substances which are dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) and levoamphetamine (l-amphetamine). The half life of a drug can also determine how long a drug will stay in the body. A person’s age will determine how long drugs like Adderall can last.

The ingredient d-amphetamine can last in the body as follows:

  • Adults for 10 hours
  • Adolescents from 13 to 17 years whose weight is less than 165 pounds is for 11 hours
  • Children between the ages of 6 to 12 years is 9 hours

For l-amphetamine, it can last in the body as follows:

  • Adults for 13 hours
  • Adolescents from 13 to 17 years whose weight is less than 165 pounds 13 to 14 hours
  • Children between the ages of 6 to 12 years for 11 hours.

According to Medical News Today, the half life is not the only way to determine how long Adderall will stay in the body. One important predictor is the overall dose.

Other factors that can affect how long Adderall stays in the body include:

  • The amount of dose taken
  • Health conditions like liver and kidney impairment
  • The last time Adderall was taken
  • How frequent Adderall is taken


Sometimes, the brain and body can become dependent on Adderall, this can lead to addiction. With time, the original dose may no longer be effective and the person may feel the need to increase the dosage of Adderall leading to an addiction. There may be withdrawal side effects which can affect the physical and psychological well being.

Also, people without prescription may take Adderall to focus and stay up for a long period of time during study or work. Anyone can develop an addiction for Adderall. A study by the National Institute of Health in 2016 showed that Adderall misuse and addiction are most common among people aged 18–25 years.


Excess Adderall can cause mild side effects like:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Problems of digestion
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Restlessness
  • Panic attacks

Serious side effects of using Adderall can be:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Paranoia
  • Feeling of fear, anxiety and worry
  • Heart palpitations (fast beating of the heart )
  • Numbness of the arm and legs
  • Seizures
  • Manic disorder
  • Aggression and hostile behavior
  • Diarrhea and other stomach issues
  • Rashes
  • Reduction in sexual urge
  • Blurry vision

In cases where the body is dependent on Adderall for attention and focus.

Stopping the usage of this drug can cause withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Increase in appetite
  • Slowed movements
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia, excess sleeping and other sleeping disorders
  • Decrease in heart rate


Adderall is a prescription drug that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. This medication can stay in the body from 20 hours to 3 months depending on several factors like age, body structure, dosage and organ function. You should not use adderall unless prescribed by your doctor. Avoid taking more than the recommended dosage or taking the drug longer than prescribed to avoid being addicted.

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