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How Long Does Adderall Last in the Body?

adderall tablets

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a combination medication which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and it works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain[1]. Adderall is both an amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants which, when taken as prescribed, increase your ability to focus on activities and control behavior problems. Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy to help people stay awake during the day.

Adderall is often misused by people who don’t have a prescription in order for them to increase their attention and focus. As with other drugs with similar characteristics as Adderall, many users and abusers are concerned about things like how long is Adderall in your system and how long does Adderall last. Some look for information more academically, with many concerns about Adderall half life or what the half life of Adderall really is.

Here’s some insights from our  team. If you or someone close to you is abusing Adderall or other similar drugs, we can help.

How Long Does Adderall Last?

You may have found this blog post wondering how long the effects of Adderall last. Adderall is a prescription stimulant that is abused often by adolescents, college students and adults. The increased alertness, focus benefits, mood elevation, increased energy and improved performance effects can last up to 12 hours, with Adderall being detectable on a drug test for up to 72 hours from the last dose that you took.

There are other things to know also about how long does Adderall last. While you are enjoying the stimulant effects of Adderall, you are also seeing increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia and a loss of your appetite.

How Long Does Adderall Last in the Body?

This also answers the question – how long does Adderall stay in your system. The half-life of a drug is the average amount of time that it takes for the body to eliminate half of the initial dose from the system. Since Adderall contains two main drugs, dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) and levoamphetamine (l-amphetamine) the half-life of each drug can indicate how long does Adderall stay in your system.

A person’s age will affect the average half-life of a drug. For d-amphetamine, this value is as follows:

  • Adults: 10 hours
  • Adolescents aged 13-17 who weigh less than 165 pounds: 11 hours
  • Children aged 6-12 years: 9 hours

For l-amphetamine, the average half-life is as follows:

  • Adults: 13 hours
  • Adolescents aged 13-17 years: 13-14 hours
  • Children aged 6-12 years: 11 hours

On average an adult can expect half of an Adderall dose to leave the body within 13 hours.  The overall dose a person takes also matters. In a person who has been taking Adderall for a long time, the drug may take longer to leave the body and if a person takes a second dose, the half-life resets [2]

Factors That Can Impact How Long Adderall Lasts in your Body

The length of time Adderall can be detected in your body is influenced by several factors:

  • Urine pH
  • Weight
  • Frequency of use
  • Dose
  • Age
  • Last use

Some medications can interact with Adderall and affect how much is absorbed or how quickly or slowly it is excreted, which can change the length of time Adderall lasts for in your body.

Medications that can decrease the absorption of Adderall, lowering blood levels, and decreasing the length of time it lasts for in the body include:

  • Fruit juices such as orange juice or cranberry juice
  • Medications that increase the acidity of the stomach contents
  • Vitamin C supplements

Other medications or substances, such as those that make the stomach contents more alkaline (less acidic), can increase the absorption of Adderall, which may or may not have an effect on how long it lasts for in the body. Modified release forms of Adderall, such as Adderall XR are more likely to be affected because it will cause the modified release coating to disintegrate faster than what would be expected in the normal stomach environment. Medications that can increase the absorption of Adderall, and increase blood levels of Adderall include:

  • Gastrointestinal alkalizing agents
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)[3]

 Different people’s bodies metabolize — break down and eliminate — Adderall at different speeds.

Will Adderall Show Up on a Drug Test?

Adderall is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and then metabolized (broken down) by your liver and leaves your body through your urine. While Adderall is eliminated through your urine, it has to work its way through your body. Therefore, it can still be detected in many other ways [4].

  • Blood – Adderall can be detected by a blood test for us to 46 hours after the last use. Blood tests can detect Adderall most quickly after it has been used.
  • Urine – Adderall can be detected in your urine for about 48 to 72 hours after the last use. This test will usually show a higher concentration of Adderall than other drug tests because Adderall is eliminated through urine.
  • Saliva – Adderall can be detected in saliva 20 to 50 hours after the last use.
  • Hair – Drug testing hair is not a common method, but it can detect Adderall for up to three months after use.

It’s not possible to definitively say how long after taking a dose of Adderall a drug test will still detect it as it also depends on the sensitivity of the drug test and how much Adderall a person has in their bloodstream.

Get help for Adderall Abuse and Addiction

It’s important to remember that if you’re struggling with substance abuse, you are not alone. If you or someone you know might be abusing or addicted to Adderall, there is help available. Please contact us and let us help you on your journey to recovery.


[1] Adderall – Uses, Side Effects, and More: WebMD
[2] How Long Does Adderall Stay in your System: Medical News Today
[3] How Long Does Adderall Last
[4] How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System: Healthline