How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

How long does Adderall stay in your system

Adderall is a medication prescribed by doctors which usually contains two types of drugs that is amphetamines and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is classified in the category of medicine which is known as stimulants. Adderall is mostly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Doctors sometimes also prescribe it to treat narcolepsy. The effectiveness of Adderall for ADHD has been established by different researches which makes it the first choice in the treatment of ADHD. As researches have shown that Adderall helps in enhancing the attention span and improving the focus of children suffering from ADHD. Impulsive behavior of ADHD is also reduced by using the stimulant like Adderall. In this article, we will discuss How long does Adderall stay in your system

How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

For patients of narcolepsy, it enhances the daytime wakefulness but it should be noted that not much evidence is available for that. 

There are two common forms of Adderall:

  • Adderall oral tablet 
  • Adderall XR oral capsule (extended-release)

Adderall: A controlled Substance:

Adderall is a controlled substance which implies that it can result in psychological and physical dependence. Because of this dependency, Adderall can potentially be abused or misused.

As a person can develop a psychological or physical dependence on Adderall, the government has described special regulations for its prescription and to dispense it. According to this regulation, a person is required to have a new prescription from a doctor every time he needs to get a new prescription.

Adderall side effects:

Depending on how long Adderall stays in your system it can lead to mild to serious side effects. Potential side effects of Adderall are listed down there but this list does not include all the side effects a person might experience. A side effect of Adderall also depends on how long Adderall stays in your system.  In this article, we will discuss How long does Adderall stay in your system

Common Side effects of Adderall:

Depending on how long Adderall stays in your body might lead to the following potential side effects:

  1. Lack of appetite 
  2. Dryness of mouth
  3. Trouble in sleeping
  4. Severe headache 
  5. Stomachache 
  6. Constipation 
  7. Feeling of Nausea 
  8. Losing weight 
  9. Anxiety 
  10. Dizziness
How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

The side effect of Adderall might go away after a few days and weeks. If these symptoms prevail a person should immediately concern the doctor. 

Severe side effect:

Depending on how long does Adderall stay in your system, a person might experience some severe symptoms. If a person experiences such severe symptoms he should immediately consult doctors. List of some severe side effects are as follow: 

  • Heart problems which include high blood pressure, heart attack, rapid heartbeat, and stroke
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired or delusional thinking
  • Agitated or aggressive behavior
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Muscle breakdown which is also known as rhabdomyolysis

How long does Adderall stay in your system:

As mentioned above Adderall can be detected in the body long after it has been taken even 50 hours later it has been initially taken. Because of this long term presence in the body, Adderall can result in many changes in the body such as changes in brain chemistry and prolonged insomnia. How long does Adderall stay in your system is also affected by many factors. All this is discussed in the section below. 

How long does Adderall stay in your System: Detection of Adderall

Adderall is absorbed in the body in the blood through the gastrointestinal tract. Adderall is metabolized in the liver and passes out of the body through urine. Although Adderall is passed out from the body through urine, it can be detected at different parts of the body depending on how long Adderall stays in your system. These are outlined below:

Blood: 

In blood, Adderall can be detected in blood for up to 46 hours since last used. If the Adderall has been taken recently, it gets detected quite quickly. 

Urine:

As Adderall is passed through urine in the body it can be detected 48 to 72 hours after last use. Urine test usually shows a high amount of Adderall concentration. 

Saliva:

Through bodily fluid, Adderall can be detected in saliva the longest after it had been last taken. Through saliva, it can be detected even after 20 to 50 hours since last use.

Hair:

Drug testing through hair is not a common method but Adderall can be detected through hair even after 3 months

Summary

  • Blood: Adderall can be detected after 46 hours of last use 
  • Urine: Adderall can be detected after 72 hours of last use.
  • Saliva: Adderall can be detected after 20 to50 hours of last use 
  • Hair: Adderall can be detected even after 3 months 
How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

Factors affecting How long does Adderall stay in your system:

Adderall is metabolized that is broken down and eliminated through the body at different speeds in different individuals. How long does Adderall stay in your body is determined by various factors which are delineated as follow:

Body Composition:

The overall composition of the body that is height, weight, and how much body fat an individual has can affect how long does Adderall stay in your system. One of the major reasons for this is that individuals with larger body mass need a higher dose of medication and this higher dose takes longer to be eliminated through the body. It should be noted here that certain researches have provided evidence that if the body mass is taken into account for drugs like Adderall, which are metabolized through specific pathways of the liver, it gets eliminated from the body faster in people who have more body fat than for those who do not. 

Metabolism:

Metabolism is a mechanism necessary to provide an individual with the energy required for functioning. How long does Adderall stay in your system is also affected by the rate of metabolism. Enzymes are the protein that helps in the process of metabolism and enzymes in the liver are also responsible to metabolize the drugs such as Adderall. Rate of metabolism is affected by many factors such as gender, age, or other medication an individual takes. The higher the rate of metabolism the earlier Adderall will pass through the body. 

Dosage:

Dosage is another factor that determines how long Adderall stays in your system. Adderall comes in different potencies from 5mg to 30mg capsules or tablets. If the dosage of Adderall is higher it will take longer to be metabolized completely this taking more time to completely get out of the body. In addition to dosage, Adderall comes in two different forms such as immediate-release and extended-release. These two versions dissolve at a different speed in the body. The specific type of Adderall taken by a person affects how long does Adderall stay in your system. 

Age:

Another contributing factor to how long does Adderall stay in your system is age. The older you are, the more time it will take to completely metabolize the medicine and eliminate it out of the body. There are many factors behind it:

  1. When a person gets older, the size of the liver decreases thus taking more time to completely metabolize Adderall. 
  2. Age-related factors such as heart diseases decrease the functioning of the kidney and a lesser amount of urine is passed out of the body. These conditions result in Adderall staying in your body for a longer period of time 
  3. Body composition is changed with time such as height, weight, and body fat which can affect how long your body takes to metabolize and get rid of medicine. 

Organ function:

Adderall is absorbed in the blood through the gastrointestinal tract and is metabolized by enzymes in the liver. It is taken out of the body with urine through the kidney. If any of the organs are not functioning properly then Adderall can stay in the body longer than it should. 

How long does Adderall stay in your system: Long-term effects?

Adderall can be used for a long period of time if it is recommended by the doctor. Common side effects of Adderall which are mentioned above such as insomnia, dry mouth, and loss of appetite can fade away with the passage of time. For some individuals, even with extended use, these side effects may prevail forever. 

How long does Adderall stay in your system: Changes in brain chemistry:

Depending on how long Adderall stays in your system your brain chemistry can be affected. Long term use of Adderall or long term use of stimulants can result in changes in brain chemistry. It can decrease the number of neurotransmitters like dopamine. This is likely to happen more in individuals who use Adderall in high doses or misuse Adderall. Misuse of Adderall can lead to psychological or physical dependence. Misuse of drug and how long does Adderall stay in your system can have the following symptoms:

  • Severe insomnia 
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Skin disorders
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Psychotic symptoms such as aggression and hallucinations
  • Heart damage
  • Anorexia and unwanted weight loss

Adderall withdrawal:

Adderall, with other many amphetamines, is usually misused because they cause the feeling of being high especially when Adderall is taken for a specific condition such as ADHD. A review of researches indicated that 17% of the college students use Adderall to stimulate their brains including Adderall. If Adderall is taken with purpose and with the supervision of a doctor it can have a positive effect but if it is misused and stays longer in the body than necessary the effects of the medication can be dangerous.

Depending upon how long does Adderall stay in your system can cause psychological and physical drug dependency. Thus a person should consult his doctor before stopping the medication as when a person stops taking Adderall it can result in the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia, a person may also experience vivid dreams
  • Increased appetite
  • Slowed movements
  • Slowed heart rate

Above mentioned symptoms can last for up to 2 or 3 weeks.

How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

FAQs about How long does Adderall stay in your system

  1. Will Adderall make you fail a drug test?

It is very likely that Adderall will show up on a drug test. Although Adderall is an amphetamine and is used to treat a number of disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy it is also a most widely abused drug thus it is likely that drug tests will be positive. 

  1. Can I flush Adderall out of my system?

The half-life of Adderall is 10 hours thus it usually takes almost 2 days to get it out of the system. It should be noted though that if a person is taking high dose medication very frequently, he should give almost 3 days to completely get it out of the system. 

  1. Can a urine test show how much Adderall is your body?

Adderall can be detected in urine after 48 to 72 hours since its last taken. Urine tests usually show a high concentration of the Adderall in the body. It happens because Adderall is flushed out of the body through urine.

References:

Erica Hersh (2019). How long does Adderall stay in your system? Retrieved from: healthline.com 

Dan Wagener (2019). How long does Adderall stay in your system? Retrieved from: americanaddictioncenters.org 

How long does Adderall stay in your system (A Guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.