When does Adderall kick in?

Initial effects of Adderall kick in anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes after administration. Effects peak at 3 hours with Adderall IR and at 7 hours with Adderall XR. Learn more about the onset and duration of Adderall effects here.

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30-60 Minutes for Therapeutic Effect

Adderall is a prescription medication approved to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) and Narcolepsy. The medication is well absorbed, and its effects are usually felt within 30-60 minutes of administration. But when does Adderall reach its peak levels? How long do Adderall effects last?

More about the onset of Adderall effects here. We’ll review what can influence its effectiveness and duration in this article . Finally, we invite you to post your question in the comments section at the end. We try to answer all real life questions personally and promptly.

Adderall active ingredients

Adderall is made up of four active ingredients:

  • dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • d-amphetamine or l-amphetamine aspartate monohydrate
  • dextroamphetamine sulfate
  • amphetamine sulfate

Inactive ingredients of Adderall include: lactitol, microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, and other ingredients.

When does Adderall start working?

Initial effects of Adderall can be felt starting anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes after administration. Following administration of a single dose 10 or 30 mg of Adderall to healthy volunteers under fasted conditions, peak plasma concentrations occur approximately 3 hours post-dose. At that point, Adderall has taken full effect.

Sometimes people will crush and snort the powder from the tablets to try to get more immediate effects. Although possible, this practice is very dangerous. Snorting Adderall can result in increased adverse effects, overdose, or even sudden death.

Factors that influence Adderall onset

For a drug to work, it must enter the body and dissolve, be absorbed by the body, and then distributed through the bloodstream and travel to the central nervous system (CNS). In the process, a number of different factors can affect the rate at which drug onset begins. These include:

1. Drug bioavailability – Adderall is available as immediate release tablets or Adderall IR, and extended-release capsules Adderall XR. The immediate release formula of Adderall produces effect that last 4 to 6 hours. On the other hand, the Adderall XR has long lasting effects that can span up to 12 hours.

2. Drug form – There are several available forms of Adderall:

  • Adderall 5mg tablets
  • Adderall 7.5mg tablets
  • Adderall 15mg tablets
  • Adderall XR 5mg capsules
  • Adderall XR 10mg capsules
  • Adderall XR 15mg capsules
  • Adderall XR 20mg capsules
  • Adderall XR 25mg capsules
  • Adderall XR 30mg capsules

3. Mode of administration – Regardless of indication, amphetamines should be administered at the lowest effective dosage. Individual dosage should be adjusted according to the therapeutic needs and your response to the medication. Late evening doses should be avoided because of insomnia.

When does Adderall start working?

It depends.

According to the user experiences and reports, Adderall needs about 20-30 minutes to start producing physiological effects. Its effect on behavior depend mostly on the dose.

However, it typically takes up to 2 weeks to determine the proper amount used in therapeutic dosing. Doctors usually start patients off with 5 mg, then increase the dose for 5 to 10mg as needed until you can see improvements in social, academic, or occupational functioning. Normal doses range from 10-30mg.

When does Adderall peak?

How does Adderall work? Pharmacokinetic studies of Adderall XR have been conducted in healthy adult and pediatric (6-12 yrs) subjects, and pediatric patients with ADHD. Both Adderall IR tablets and Adderall XR capsules contain d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts in the ratio of 3:1. Following administration of Adderall IR, the peak plasma concentrations occurred in about 3 hours for both d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine.

The time to reach maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) for Adderall XR is about 7 hours, which is about 4 hours longer compared to Adderall about 4 hours longer compared to Adderall (immediate-release). This is consistent with the extended-release nature of the product.

When does Adderall wear off?

The effects of Adderall IR last for 4-6 hours and should not be taken more frequently. Effects of Adderall XR last a full 12 hours. However, Adderall XR should not be taken more frequently than once every 24 hours, to reduce the risk of potential overdose.

Risks of Adderall addiction

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it is a substance with a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Abusing Adderall or taking larger doses than prescribed is likely to result in cognitive function impairments and induce rapid muscle breakdown. Substance addiction is a serious risk of Adderall abuse. Very high doses can result in a psychosis (delusions and paranoia) which rarely occurs at therapeutic doses, even during long-term use. Recreational doses are generally much larger than prescribed therapeutic doses, and carry a far greater risk of serious side effects.

Abrupt cessation following prolonged high dosage administration of Adderall results in:

  • extreme fatigue
  • mental depression
  • sleep disturbances

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When does Adderall kick in questions

If you have questions that you didn’t find the answers to in this article, please post them in the designated section below. We do our best to provide prompt and personal answers to all legitimate enquiries. In case we don’t know the answer to a questions we will gladly refer you to professionals who can help.

Reference Sources: FDA: Teva’s Adderall 30 mg Tablets: Counterfeit Product – Contains Wrong Active Ingredients
FDA: Adderall (CII)
Wikipedia: Adderall
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.
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