How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Adderall levels peak in the bloodstream about 3 hours after taken orally, compared to 7 hours for Adderall XR (extended release). But when is Adderall out of the system totally? More here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D.

Peak levels and half life of Adderall

There are a number of different variables to consider when estimating the metabolism of Adderall. These include:

  • Adderall vs. Adderall XR (instant or extended release)
  • Age, weight and general health of patient
  • Dosage
  • Means of administration (oral, smoke, injected, etc.)
  • Type of amphetamine measured (dextroamphetamine or levoamphetamine)

Peak levels – During clinical trials, peak plasma concentrations of a single dose 10 or 30 mg of Adderall to healthy volunteers occur about 3 hours post-dose for both d-amphetamine and lamphetamine. In comparison, maximum plasma concentration of Adderall XR is about 7 hours.

Half life – When administering Adderall normally, the average elimination half-life for d-amphetamine occurs at 9 – 11 hours post dose vs. 11.5 – 14 hours for l-amphetamine. The mean elimination half-life for Adderall XR is about the same as for Adderall instant release, but varies according to age and body mass.

Adderall testing: How long does Adderall stay in the system?

Adderall is made up of a combination of amphetamine salts: Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate and Amphetamine Sulfatem. These substances can be measured in hair, oral fluid, sweat, or urine as part of drug testing. In fact, blood tests are used to distinguish therapeutic use of Adderall from abuse. This is why doctors and employers use drug testing in the first place: to tell if you are addicted to Adderall, or not.  And urine tests can detect Adderall for days after your last dose. But how long does Adderall stay in your system exactly?

Positive tests for Adderall depend upon length, frequency, mode of administration and amount of use. In other words, the longer and heavier you’ve been using Adderall, the more likely it is that Adderall is detected in your body and the more likely you will experience withdrawal from Adderall is you stop dosing. Urine testing can generally detect use 1-4 days after your last dose of amphetamine but you can test positive for amphetamines a week following heavy chronic use.

Problems with Adderall?

Do you think that you have a problem with Adderall?  Are you mixing alcohol and Adderall? Are you snorting or smoking or injecting Adderall? Have you started obsessively thinking about taking it, or are you taking more than is recommended? Can you not live without Adderall?

If you think that Adderall has become a problem in your life and you are ready for help, you can get it. Please ask us your questions about Adderall addiction below, or send us an email. We respond to all questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration facts on amphetamines
FDA medication guide for Adderall and Adderall XR
Daily Med Adderall tablet information
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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