Saturday September 20th 2014

How long does Adderall withdrawal last?

Adderall, which is made of amphetamine salts, affects people differently depending on whether you use Adderall to treat ADD or ADHD vs. taking Adderall to get high. However, the general onset of withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Adderall occurs within a few hours after Adderall effects wear off. And the length of time until withdrawal stops can vary from weeks to months later. More here, with a section for your questions about Adderall withdrawal at the end.

How long until Adderall withdrawal starts?

Once you have decided to stop taking Adderall, withdrawal symptoms can start as early as a few hours after the effect of Adderall has worn off. Overall effects of immediate release Adderall lasts typically 4-8 hours, while residual effects can last up to 12 hours. Overall effects of extended release Adderall typically last for 12 hours, while residual effect can last up to 24 hours. The most common symptoms of withdrawal from Adderall include:

  • disorientation
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • mental depression

Adderall withdrawal timeline

As mentioned earlier, Adderall affects people differently. Symptoms of withdrawing from Adderall will change from person to person. However, it can take days to weeks to completely remove Adderall from the system when you’ve developed physical dependence on Adderall. It is important to note that because Adderall is a stimulant, withdrawal symptoms can be delayed. Therefore, it may take several weeks to months to no longer feel the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

24-72 hours Adderall withdrawal – General onset of symptoms can manifest shortly after the drug has worn off and linger for up to a few months after the medication is totally out of the system. Intense fatigue, uncontrollable sleepiness and catnapping, continuing stimulation, and drug craving are typical symptoms that occur during the first days after coming off Adderall. The worst onset of symptoms (fatigue, depression and disorientation) often occurs directly after withdrawal or coming off of Adderall. Many people report that the most common reaction to acute Adderall withdrawal is that of fatigue and oversleeping.

Week 1 Adderall withdrawal – In the first week after stopping Adderall, symptoms of withdrawal tend to even out with an apparent return to “normalcy”, although drug craving may occur and disturbed sleeping patterns are common. During this phase of withdrawal symptoms can include the inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia), waves of intense craving, depression, exhaustion, extreme fatigue and excessive sleepiness.

Week 2 Adderall withdrawal – After the first couple of weeks of stopping Adderall, characteristic symptoms of stimulant withdrawal may still be present including fatigue or exhaustion, depression, unpleasant and vivid dreams, insomnia or hypersomnia, increased appetite, slowed or quickened psychomotor response, and/or irritability.

Weeks 3-4 Adderall withdrawal – During this phase of withdrawal, apathy, irritability, and depression may still be present. Additionally, long periods or disturbances in sleep are still reported.

How long do Adderall withdrawal symptoms last?

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can last anywhere between a few days to several months after you last take the medication. The harsher, acute effects of withdrawal should resolve within after about a month. However, people have reported still feeling fatigue and increased appetite long after the initial 30 days.

Adderall withdrawal: how long?

Adderall affects each person differently depending on the dosage and how long you have been taking Adderall. In other words, each withdrawal period is unique to the person taking Adderall. Various health concerns need to be taken into consideration. In general, however, if you taking Adderall for medical reasons in doses as prescribed, symptoms of withdrawal tend to be less intense than someone abusing the medication or taking higher doses than prescribed.

Post-Acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a set of symptoms that occur right after you stop taking Adderall and can last several months afterwards. Increased fatigue and having less energy are typical of Adderall use and these symptoms can linger for weeks to months after your last dose of Adderall. Additionally, people who withdraw from Adderall might experience sleeping issues for several months after they stop taking the medication as well as mental depression or emotions that they are not as used to. People suffering from depression are encouraged to seek help.

How long Adderall withdrawal questions

If you have any more questions regarding withdrawal from Adderall please ask. We do our best to respond to your questions personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: PubMed: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy: Misuse of “study drugs:” prevalence, consequences, and implications for policy
NIDA Drug Facts: Stimulant ADHD Medications – Methylphenidate and Amphetamines

DailyMed: Archived Adderall label
NHTSA: Amphetamines and Methamphetamine
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory on Protracted Withdrawal
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory on Prescription Medications: Misuse, Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction
U.S. Department of Justice: Drugs of Abuse

Leave a Reply

31 Responses to “How long does Adderall withdrawal last?
Bube
2:02 pm August 3rd, 2012

Great post. Thank you very much

6:12 pm August 3rd, 2012

Hi Bube. You are welcome. Do you need any help during Adderall withdrawal? Have you been through withdrawal and have some tips to share for others?

Majk
8:09 am August 6th, 2012

For what exactly serves Adderall withdrawal?

1:35 pm September 16th, 2012

Adderall withdrawal is the brain’s way of re-adjusting and finding homeostasis without amphetamine salts. The adjustment period between Adderall use and Adderall abstinence can be uncomfortable, but is a necessary period if you want to stop taking Adderall and stay off it.

Roxiepic
4:13 pm December 11th, 2012

Thank you so much for posting this. I’m in week three of withdrawl and it helps to know that how I am feeling is normal and expected.

8:02 pm December 11th, 2012

You are welcome, Roxiepic. Thanks for letting us know that the article helps.

nancy sinoway
1:04 am January 17th, 2013

My husband was given adderall in Oct. His dose was 30 mg. He did not react to it at all. His Doctor did not feel that he was depressed and that we needed marriage conseling. He has suffered from depression for over 10 years. He had him stop the adderall with no weening and put hime on Zoloft 50 mg. He is sprialing down. What and how long will this last…… I know it is withdrawals. Your thoughts please!

Linda
6:12 pm January 27th, 2013

Our son, 34 had been on Adderall for about 2 yrs. We did not know the extent of it until getting a ‘wake up’ call from his wife. I think he was headed for a major stroke…greatly increased blood pressure, and it took a while to get it under control. It has been three months and I can still see effects here and there. It helps me to read blogs like this so that I can be more knowledgeable and understanding of him, his reactions, (or lack of) his emotions (or lack of). http://www.wildestcolts.com/books/madness.html Dr. John Breeding (you can order his Ebook for $8.00) has been a great help.
Btw, the General Practitioner BAD doctor that gave our son the precription…got scared when we took our son in…and referred him to a psychiatrist. Of course, we know that was to cover his rear end. We chose Naturepath and supplements, time and prayer over a Psychiatrist that would have only given him more drugs! BEWARE is all I can say!

DungShark
10:52 pm March 25th, 2013

I was on a low dose of 10 mg daily for 1 month and decided to quit cold turkey. I’m doing fine, just sometimes I feel a little dizzy, especially after drinking too much coffee. I’ll miss the artifiicial zone it put me in and allowed me to get ridiculously and insanely organized, the type of organization that drives normal people crazy lol. I’ll just need to develop stronger mental strategies to target my disorganization and tendency to let my mind wander. It would be nice to rely on a pill to fix all my problems but I think in the long run, it would be better to attack my adhd symptoms with cognitive strategies instead.

Sharkie
2:50 pm April 3rd, 2013

I am 49 and normal weight. I was on 20 mg of adderall daily for about 6 months. I tapered down to 5 mg per day over about 3 weeks. Depression, anxiety, stomach upset and sleepiness were prevailant while I was tapering down. I stopped taking the adderall completely 4 days ago. I am now functional, but sleepy. Cofee is helping, but not to the degree I would like it to help. How long might it take to not be sleepy all day? Does additional excercise, certain vitamins, fish oil or amino acids like L-Tyrosine help? I want to get back to being awake and fully functional during the work day.

What are some of the best ways to get the body back to homeostatis without adderall?

7:11 am April 4th, 2013

Hello Sharkie. Rest and time are indicated as the best ways to move through Adderall withdrawal. Stimulants unnaturally “speed up” the brain, and as you withdraw, the effects of the rebound “slowing down” mechanisms of the brain make you feel really tired. I’d suggest that you seek advice from a pharmacist about over-the-counter and nutritional aids that can help you during this time. But sleep and rest are natural ways to recover from amphetamine withdrawal.

Sharkie
6:03 pm April 8th, 2013

I am on week 2 after stopping adderall. I have periods of energy and periods of lethargy. Taking L-Tyrosine before sleep and on a fairly empty stomach seems to help. Excercise is exhausting, but I am going for run-walks to hopefully build up stamina. Dreams are surprisingly vivid and there are some mood swings. All in all, I am getting in the saddle and am less sleepy all the time. My humor and personality is coming back too.

Scott
10:09 pm April 11th, 2013

Have ADHD. Perscribed 20mg instant & 20mgXR daily (down from 30xr). It’s to the point that I take them just for the feeling (used to use them for school & work to maintain productivity). Had to mix alcohol to bring me down from the obsessive organizational & lack of expressiveness (especially to be able to interact with people happily). Stopped lifting weights (used to be big and muscular), got skinny, have tried quitting, I notice immediate weight gain and increase in appetite (up to 10lbs in a week with weight lifting and proper diet).

Trying to quit starting on my days off work to begin that momentum. I told myself getting 8 hrs of sleep a day will help me function right through the day when i’m awake. Only problem is that I become tired when my body isn’t required to be in motion (not at work), and I end up taking a cat nap that can last 6-7 hours (just woke up from one of those).

I want to quit addys because I know I’m dependent. I’m newly single, it’s spring, and i want to be my old self (active, athletic, fit, & find a new girlfriend), but i know that starts with being true to myself, and to be honest I’m consuming this influx of adderall and not really getting anything major accomplished. I’m just utilizing the feeling of it at the cost of being skinny and i’m sure it’s having other long term effects on my body.

Everywhere I go it’s like I’m a poindexter and people don’t like me because i’m almost a jerk to them (like: “isn’t the solution obvious”). My ex told me I lack emotions on the stuff too.

Bottom line is I’m trying to quit…. 8 hrs of sleep allows me to remain productive at work, but when I’m having R&R time, like at home… I just want to sleep. I will be dieting well and not taking any sleep aides and taking vitamins, but I look forward to the day I’m not tired…

Scott
10:30 pm April 11th, 2013

The other thing is that I’m usually drinking about 3-4 redbulls or frappucinnos. So I’m gonna take some posting suggestions and get the same amount of gatorades instead. I’m sure I’m recognizing more of a crash from the energy drinks.

JLH
11:20 pm April 11th, 2013

Any physician who takes you off Adderall completely without lowering your intake dose by dose shouldn’t be able to practice medicine. Especially in behavioral therapy! Adderall is an excellent drug in the XR along with anti-depression meds for a pt. with severe depression. When lowering your stimulant dose its recommended to take along with a bupropion/ Wellbutrin.

joe
1:38 am April 21st, 2013

I have been prescribed Adderall (60mg a day) since I was about 14. I am 25 now and a basically a full blown addict. I know I need to stop taking it but I still have a pretty severe case of ADHD that without a stimulant is really difficult to manage. I have tried all kinds of alternatives to adderall but nothing really helps my ADHD that isn’t a stimulant. The big problem I face now is the exhaustion I experience without adderall. If I do not take it, I am so tired I will sleep for 4 or 5 days straight. I am beginning to think I may suffer from sleep apnea or something that is affecting me physically. Is it normal to feel so tired without taking adderall?

8:47 am April 22nd, 2013

Hello Joe. Extreme fatigue is a telltale sign of Adderall withdrawal, and is expected if you reduce doses dramatically, or stop taking Adderall altogether. IF Adderall helps the ADHD therapeutically, why do you want to quit? Also, have you consulted with a detox clinic about getting help to get off Adderall?

Scott
3:53 pm April 22nd, 2013

I took adderall for over 5 years straight without ccompletely stopping. I took up to 90mgs a day, and sometimes as low as 20 (depemding on how I wanted to abuse them) but never stopped in fear of the sleep and whatnot. I always drank at least a couple red bull every day too.

Being tired is common. As tired as you? Not sure, everyoneis different, but I felt I was abusing them and decided to quit cold turkey to see if I could. I stopped taking red bulls too all together.

You need something to motivate you to live day to day! Yes you’re going to sleep way more at first, but u depended on adderall for your drive, your motivation, just like me (even sometimes to get out of bed, on those 90mg days). I would take an adderall, go back to sleep, and get out of bed once it started kicking!

Back to my point: my job forced me to stay awake for ten hours! Good motivator! I went to the gym every day! I took a pre workout energy ddrink designed specifically for lifting before I’d go. And I only did half a scoop. I have been liftingon and off for years so using that is ccommonplace for me and I recommend it.

You need things to motivate you. The gym is great for ur body, your heart rate. It will force u to eat more. A job forces u to stay awake when ur there. (I slept through all my breaks).

I quit for two weeks, got my energy back really well after only the first week ! You can do it! It’s all in your head ! Now I take 10mgs occasionally, and llan to use em a bit for school.

Everything in moderation! We became addicted and abused adderall, that’s why were trying to quit!

Sharkie
2:55 pm April 29th, 2013

Now I am on week 4 after stopping taking adderall. Male, age 49, I have reporting in here before (see below). Having some really good days and more often days were I have a very difficult time focusing/concentrating on work. Often have anxiety and tiredness. Doctor proscribed Deplin (methyfolate) and I am taking citicoline to upgrade my dopamine receptors. I run a couple of miles 3 to 4 times a week and am being very careful about eating healthy choices with limited simple sugar. I even started meditating every day. Everything I read about getting back to normal after adderall points to plenty of sleep, eating really healthy and clean, and excercise.

When might homeostatis of the dopamine receptors take place. Will I get less tired and more interested in what I am doing soon? How soon?

metoo1977
2:07 pm May 19th, 2013

I been taking large doses of Adderall for 2 years, and its been 3 weeks, and damn I been sleeping for 3 weeks, feel very poorly, will it ever stop ??

4:17 am May 20th, 2013

Hi metoo. The heavy doses can provoke extreme withdrawal symptoms such as those that you are experiencing right now. Give it a few more weeks, and if you’re still overly fatigued, I’d suggest that you seek medical advice.

scott
7:59 pm June 30th, 2013

Adderall’s a great medication, withdrawing from it is not a big deal at all. The only aggravating part about withdrawal is the same as not being on Adderall at all. Can’t concentrate, can’t focus; can’t figure out what to do w/myself, i’ll always take Adderall and thank god for it

mary
12:45 am July 11th, 2013

Would you suggest quitting cold-turkey or tapering? I’ve cut my original 60mg/day regular adderall intake down to 30mg for 2.5 weeks now and have taken a few miserable days off (including today) but, would it be easier/healthier to simply stop or take longer with the latter option? I live in CA and I feel like the doctors here prescribe this stuff like candy… It’s really sad and incredibly frustrating. I had no idea I would have this kind of withdrawal that I’m experiencing… Thanks for your advice.

mary
12:46 am July 11th, 2013

by “days off” I mean taking nothing at all…

1:21 pm July 16th, 2013

Hello Mary. No. Going cold turkey off Adderall is not necessary nor humane. Instead, seek a tapering regimen from your prescribing doctor so that you can slowly step down the doses and manage resulting side effects as the appear. Medical supervision during withdrawal is ALWAYS a good idea!

Scott G
12:59 am December 14th, 2013

I’m back again… I read what I wrote back in April of this year and I say to myself… “Wow… Did I waste some valuable time…!”

I took that girlfriend back and found she was cheating on me. I started taking adderall again like crazy to manage a full time job, full time work schedule, and high maintenance girlfriend… I ended up basically failing at all of them. I found out she was done with me back in September, and accepting it was impossible given the amount of adderall I was taking. At the end of the day… I can see that my adderall use in the past 8 months hasn’t contributed to any positive outcomes in my life… I’m still small… I have another DUI… I’m hung up on an ex… and I failed the CFA exam cause i couldn’t shift priorities for studying. but i did buy a corvette! lol. I’m not blaming adderall for anything, but I’m emphasizing that it didn’t help anything either.

feel free to reply. :)

Norco73
7:07 am June 9th, 2014

I used adderall for one week as a try for ADHD. I averaged about 40mg per day and don’t plan on taking it again. When should withdrawals start and how long will it last?

DG
7:06 pm June 20th, 2014

@Norco-After only a weeks worth of using adderall you will not get any withdrawals at all. Like every psychoactive substance, taking only a weeks worth, whether high or low dosage for the first time ever will not cause problems.

Brandy
7:34 pm September 8th, 2014

I am in full blown withdrawal right now and don’t feel like I can tell anyone, not even my husband. I am sweating like crazy, sleeping nonstop and have the shakes bad! I know I need some serious help. How can I get through these withdrawals without losing my mind?!!

Brandy
4:06 pm September 10th, 2014

what can I do to help my body and mind get through the withdrawals? Are there any vitamins or anything that I can take that will help ease the symptoms?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:36 am September 11th, 2014

Hi Brandy. Sorry for not replying to your previous message. But I believe you can read good guidelines on what’s recommended and what helps in this article: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/how-to-withdraw-from-adderall/
And, plese write to let us know if there is anything else we can help with. Also, let us know how it all goes.

Leave a Reply