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July 14, 2021
There is no short and crisp answer to how long does Adderall stay in your system. Eventually, it depends upon a variety of different factors. Also, various drug tests or screenings detect the medication for different periods of time.
What is Adderall?
Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is a prescription medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a specific type of sleep disorder called narcolepsy.
It is a stimulant medicine that contains two different substances, namely amphetamines and dextroamphetamine. Along with these active ingredients, Adderall comes in two different formulations:
- Adderall IR (immediate-release) tablets
- Adderall XR (extended-release) capsules
Although very effective when used as prescribed, Adderall pills are one of the most commonly abused prescription medicines in the United States. The demograp[hic abusing Adderall medicine mostly ranges from 18-25-year-olds. Researchers state that Adderall abuse increased by more than 60% from 2007 to 2012. Furthermore, in 2016 and 2017, more than 100,000 youngsters aged between 12-25 abused Adderall.
People involved in Adderall abuse may take a higher dose of the medication than prescribed, use it by crushing, injecting, or snorting, or get someone else’s prescription pills to get an “Adderall high.”
As a stimulant medication, students often abuse Adderall to stay up late for studies, get more productive work done, or have more energy during the night. Athletes also abuse this medicine and other stimulants to improve their performance.
Abuse can lead to Adderall addiction and may lead to withdrawal symptoms. Adderall side effects are mild at therapeutic doses and usually, go away within several days of use. However, abusing the medication can lead to some severe side effects of Adderall. Also, abusing Adderall develops a tolerance to the medication that may result in withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopped.
Some frequent signs of Adderall withdrawal include harmful mental and physical symptoms, craving of the medication when it leaves their system, inability to perform without this medicine, and making it their top priority to get Adderall.
How Long Do Adderall Effects Last?
Adderall effects start within half an hour of the ingestion. However, the amount of time for which Adderall effects last varies from person to person, depending upon several factors. Adderall IR or immediate-release pills can produce therapeutic effects that last between 4-6 hours. On the other hand, Adderall XR capsules stay nearly all day long, and their effects may last anywhere from 12-24 hours.
Despite the effects of Adderall wear off within a day, the medicine can remain present in the system for much longer. Sometimes, it is detectable in drug tests for weeks and even months, depending upon the type of test and its detection time.
Factors Determining How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System
When a person takes Adderall, it gets absorbed through their gastrointestinal tract. Then it enters the system, where it gets deactivated by the liver or eliminated from the body through urine. Only about 20-25% of Adderall dosage gets converted into metabolites, the substance detectable by drug screenings.
Adderall half-life ranges between 9-14 hours depending on the formulation of the medication used. This clearly means that after 14 hours, only the substance still remains in the body. As a result, most people completely clear out the Adderall dose within 3 days after ingestion. However, many additional general and health factors influence how long does Adderall stay in your system, including:
- Adderall dosage and frequency of use: people using Adderall on a daily basis for weeks will take much longer to clear the substance from their system compared to someone who took its first or second dose. Similarly, people who take higher Adderall dosage will need more time for their system to clear out the medicine completely than a person who takes a lower dose.
- Age, weight, and gender: every person’s metabolism determines how long a substance will stay in their system. People older in age or with higher body weight will take longer to flush out Adderall than a young person with comparatively lower body weight.
- pH levels: the pH levels of urine may influence the rate at which the system eliminates Adderall. If the urine has a high pH level, the kidneys will take longer to remove Adderall. Things like your diet can impact urine pH levels.
- Functioning of organs: kidneys and the liver play a vital role in eliminating any substance from the body. If one or both these organs do not work correctly, it may take longer for the Adderall doses to leave your system.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System: Determining by Drug Tests
Different drug tests or screenings detect Adderall pills and their metabolites in the system for varying time periods depending upon the number of metabolites needed to test positive and their detection window.
The four different types of drug screenings for detecting Adderall misuse are urinalysis, saliva, hair follicle, and blood test. Ultimately, the time duration an Adderall dose leaves your system depends on several different factors. Hence, no one can say precisely how long does Adderall stay in your system. Here are various drug screenings that detect Adderall:
Adderall in Urine
Urine tests are the most common screenings for detecting any substance. They involve collecting urine samples in a bottle and dipping test sticks into it to see if it comes out positive for the medication metabolites.
Although most Adderall is eliminated from the body after 72 hours of use, it may be detectable in the urine for nearly 4 days. This signifies that a person can still test positive even after Adderall effects wear off.
Adderall in Saliva
Doctors rarely use saliva tests for screening a stimulant like Adderall. Saliva tests involve collecting a sample of saliva and testing it for Adderall metabolites. These tests are usually quick as they can detect Adderall within 20 minutes of use. However, Adderall is detectable in saliva for up to 48 hours after administration, after which it leaves the system.
Adderall in Hair Follicles
Hair follicle tests are also a rare form of drug screening. It involves collecting hair samples and testing them for Adderall metabolites. This testing allows the longest detection windows for Adderall pills. The metabolites may take up to one week to be present in the hair follicle, and they may remain for several months. Generally, Adderall is detectable in hair follicle tests for up to 3 months after administration.
Adderall in Blood Tests
Blood tests are usually uncommon because they are labor-intensive and invasive forms of drug screening. They provide a small detection window for testing the presence of Adderall. Generally, Adderall is detectable in blood tests for up to 24 hours.