Adderall is a popular prescription medicine for treating individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
It is an amphetamine that primarily helps stimulate the central nervous system. Besides treating ADHD, it also works for managing sleep disorders and depression to some extent.
This medication can help its user maintain calm and composure if taken daily in the dosage recommended by the doctor. It helps them focus on the task rather than being restless and impulsive.
Because of its soothing effect on the body and mind, Adderall is among the most abused prescription drugs today. Long-term use of this medicine may also produce side effects that upset the individual’s health.
Now the question arises: how long does Adderall stay in your system? Finding an answer to this question is relevant for persons trying to overcome abuse or addiction to Adderall.
Ascertaining a drug’s half-life can determine the length of time the drug stays in a person’s body.
Adderall: An Overview
Adderall is a combination of stimulants, amphetamines, and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is made up of four salts of the two enantiomers of amphetamine:
- Amphetamine sulfate: 25%
- Amphetamine aspartate monohydrate: 25%
- Dextroamphetamine sulfate: 25%
- Dextroamphetamine saccharate: 25%
Adderall XR and Mydayis are other brands containing similar ingredients to Adderall, but they differ in potency and duration of stimulation.
It is a central nervous system stimulant of the phenethylamine class. This prescription medicine is expected to increase concentration and attention and reduce behavioral disorders.
However, Adderall is a widely misused drug for boosting energy and moods. Some use it to increase their alcohol consumption capacity. Some weight loss enthusiasts wrongly use Adderall for weight loss, as it has the benefit of appetite suppression to some extent.
Half-Life of Adderall
The time taken for the plasma concentration of a drug to reduce to half of its original value is the half-life of a drug.
The half-life of a drug can be used to calculate how long it stays in the body.
Peak Levels: According to an FDA report, a single dose (10 or 30 mg) of Adderall had a peak plasma concentration for about 3 hours post-dose for d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine.
Half-Life: After having the last dose of Adderall, the half-life of this drug is approximately 10 hours. The elimination of amphetamine occurs at 9–11 hours, and l-amphetamine needs 11.5–14 hours post-dose.
However, the half-life duration of Adderall may vary from person to person depending on factors such as:
- Dosage used
- Frequency of use
- Bodyweight, age, and health conditions of the patient
- Forms of Adderall used (oral, injection, smoke, extended-release, or immediate release)
- Type of amphetamine measured (dextroamphetamine or levoamphetamine)
- Diet habits
- Metabolism and the healthy functioning of the kidneys and liver.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
Various substances that constitute Adderall can be detected in urine, blood, saliva, hair, and sweat.
Drug testing methods are used to detect the presence of Adderall in the body. Blood and urine tests are suitable for detecting the abuse of Adderall from its therapeutic uses.
A urine test can trace the presence of amphetamine substances in your system up to four days after using the last dose.
However, the duration of drug retention in the body varies from person to person.
If you have been using Adderall for a long period and in heavy doses, it is more likely to detect the drug in your system for a long time. Similarly, the withdrawal symptoms of this drug will also be seen in you.
How long does Adderall stay in urine?
Different drug tests can be performed to find out how long Adderall stays in your body.
A urine test is a reliable medical procedure to detect the presence of a drug in your body. A urinalysis can detect the presence of Adderall for up to 3 days on average after the last dose. However, a urine test may show positive for Adderall up to 7 days after a person uses this drug for a long time.
How long does Adderall stay in your hair?
The hair follicle test for drug detection is rarely conducted as it is a complicated and expensive procedure. It is effective for testing drugs that leave metabolites in the system. Hair testing is more accurate than blood, urine, and saliva tests as it allows the longest window of time to detect the existence of a drug in your system.
The metabolites of Adderall can be detected in hair follicles for up to 3 months after use.
However, it takes more than one week after using the drug for the metabolites to accumulate in the hair follicles.
How long does Adderall stay in the blood?
Blood testing gives only a short window of drug detection. This is an invasive type of testing.
Adderall can be detected in your blood between 12 and 24 hours after using the drug.
How long does Adderall stay in saliva?
Testing your saliva can identify the presence of Adderall in your body.
Saliva testing uses standard clinical testing methods to detect the Adderall metabolites present in it.
Within 20 minutes after you had the medicine, its metabolites could be traced in your saliva.
Adderall stays in your saliva for up to 48 hours after you have taken the pill. Saliva testing for detecting drugs in your system is better than blood testing.
How long Adderall can stay in your system is influenced by dosage, frequency, and type of Adderall use.
Different drug tests are done to identify the amount of drug deposited in your system and its duration. However, the test results also depend on several individual factors particular to the user.
Some of those important factors are:
Physical Features: Your height, weight, muscle mass, and percentage of fat in the body affect the speed of clearing Adderall from your system. The ingredients in this drug are hydrophilic. People with a higher body mass and greater water retention in the body allow the drug to circulate in the system for a longer time.
Metabolic Health: Someone with a faster and more efficient metabolism may have a shorter period when this drug is detectable in the system.
PH levels: Kidneys will take longer to process Adderall in people with a high PH level. The excretion of the drug through urine will be slow in such cases.
Diet Habits: Foods taken by the patient can affect the speed at which the body can clear drugs from the system. Alkalizing (or neutralizing) foods and beverages inculcated in your diet can improve the speed of drug removal from your system.
Liver and Kidney Functions: The liver and kidney play important roles in eliminating drugs like Adderall from your system. If you have health issues with the liver or kidneys, drugs take longer to get cleared from your system.
Dosage: Patients regularly consuming a higher dose of Adderall, like 30 mg or more, will retain some properties of the drug for a longer period in their system.
The Frequency of Use: If you have been using Adderall daily for a long time, your system will take longer to eliminate the drug’s residues. With frequent consumption of this drug, it gets accumulates in different parts of the body, like hair follicles and fat cells.
Adderall Abuse and Addiction
Adderall is a popular prescription medicine for dealing with ADHD and sleep disorders. It has off-label utility in managing some forms of severe depression as well.
As a prescription drug, many falsely assume this pill is safer than other illegal drugs. But in reality, abuse of Adderall is as dangerous as abuse of any other drug.
Some of the common ways Adderall is abused are:
- Having a higher dose of this drug than prescribed by the physician,
- Using this medicine in non-appropriate ways, like snorting,
- Using it just for the sake of recreational mood enhancement and relaxation,
- Taking this drug very frequently than recommended,
- Deliberately taking medicine to stay awake for long periods.
Abuse of Adderall leads to tolerance, which compels the user to increase the doses of the medicine every few weeks. As a result, this medicine’s side effects and withdrawal symptoms become severe.
A person addicted to this drug reaches a stage where they are unable to function normally without taking this medicine.
According to a report published on drugabuse.com, Adderall can inhibit the indications of intoxication caused by alcohol. In such a scenario, a person using Adderall may drink too much alcohol, resulting in alcohol poisoning, a coma, or death.
The Bottom Line
How long does Adderall stay in your system? An answer to this question can be summed up as follows:
Adderall has a half-life of 9 to 14 hours. This implies that in less than 14 hours, approximately half of the drug will have disappeared from your system.
- In a urine test, Adderall can be detected for 4 to 7 days.
- In a hair follicle test, Adderall can be detected about a week after use for up to 90 days.
- In the saliva test, Adderall can be detected 20 minutes after use and for up to 48 hours.
- In blood tests, Adderall can be detected 12 to 24 hours after taking the last dose.
A potentially effective portion of Adderall will clear your system in three days. However, some of this drug’s metabolites stay in your system for some time.
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