How Long Does Adderall Last In the Body?

How Long Does Adderall Last In the Body

Adderall is a stimulant drug used to treat the symptoms of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children and adults (1). It can also treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy. 

Besides medical uses, Adderall is also one of the abused prescription drugs as it produces feelings of confidence, euphoria, increased concentration, and a suppressed appetite. In the quest to stay stimulated and increase concentration, students and working people often consume Adderall.  

Testing for Adderall in the body is done in various ways. 

Let’s find out how long Adderall stays in your system along with its potential side-effects. 

How Long Does Adderall Last In The Body?

Does Adderall Last In the Body

As you consume Adderall, it is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. The liver breaks it down, allowing it to leave the body through urine. 

Even though it is eliminated from the body through urine, Adderall can still be detected in the urine, blood, saliva, and hair for the following hours (2) –

  • Urine test: Adderall stays in the system for long and can be detected in the urine for as long as 96 hours after its last dose 
  • Blood test: If you take a blood sample to detect Adderall, the result will come positive for up to 46 hours after the last dose. 
  • Saliva test: This drug stays in the saliva for 20 to 50 hours after the last dose. 
  • Hair follicle test: Testing Adderall in hair can show positive results for up to 3 months after the last dose.  

What Affects The Duration Of Adderall Stay In The Body?

Multiple factors determine how long Adderall will stay in the system. Since everyone’s metabolism works differently, here are a few things that decide the duration-

1. Body Composition

People who are more weighted require more doses of Adderall than those with less weight. Thus, their body will also take more time than usual to leave Adderall from the body. 

It is attributed to research that studied the impact of obesity on drug metabolism and elimination (3). 

2. Metabolism

Different enzymes in the liver help in breaking down complex compounds into simpler forms. Better is the metabolism; faster is the body’s ability to break down drug into easily absorbable forms (4). Once absorbed, it leaves the body through urine faster, too. 

3. Dosage of Drug

You can consume Adderall in different doses- from 5 mg to 30 mg. Remember, the higher the dose of a drug, the longer it will take to metabolize and leave the body (5). Likewise, a small dose will get removed from the body faster.

Besides coming in different doses, Adderall is also available in two different versions-

  • Immediate release 
  • Extended-release 

Both these versions have different dissolving speeds in the body. Thus, it will also impact how long Adderall stays in your system.

For instance, if you consume 10 mg of Adderall in its immediate release version, it will last for 4 to 6 hours in the body after every dose. However, consuming the same in the extended version will last all through the day. 

4. Age 

Old people struggling with ADHD are seen having Adderall in their system for longer hours compared to children. It can be blamed on the size of the liver and reduced blood flow, which decreases with age. Likewise, kidney function and body composition also change with age, taking more time for Adderall’s breakdown. 

5. Organs 

Different organs, such as the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidney, are involved in metabolism and urine excretion. If any of these organs are not working properly, it may affect how long Adderall stays in the system. 

Does Adderall Accumulate In The Body Over Time?

Adderall accumulate in the body over time

When the body gets accustomed to Adderall, especially its high dose, for long periods of time, the body builds up its tolerance. Often, people who are taking Adderall to treat ADHD find that the medication is not working anymore and has become less effective.

In such cases, the doctor may ask to increase the dose slightly. 

People who are taking Adderall for recreation purposes may also develop tolerance to this drug. College students often come under this category and are believed to take Adderall as a substance abuse (3).

What Does Adderall Test Positive For?

Adderall, the stimulant drug, contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Certain drug tests may come positive for the following when you are on Adderall (4)-

  • methamphetamine (meth)
  • methylenedioxymethamphetamine

Thus, if you are taking Adderall and test positive for any of these, it will be considered a false positive drug test. 

What Happens When You Stop Using Adderall?

How the body reacts when you stop using Adderall depends upon the dosage and duration of its use. You may start experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as

  1. Fatigue and exhaustion: Your energy level will drop, making you feel mentally and physically tired.
  2. Craving: You may start craving the medication intensely, and it may lead to relapse if left unaddressed. 
  3. Depression: Feeling low and depressed is one of the common withdrawal symptoms of Adderall, as it will impact your brain function. 
  4. Sleep disturbances: The sleep pattern is disrupted drastically when you stop using Adderall. A change in sleep quality and sleep duration is common.
  5. Cognitive difficulties: It will become difficult to concentrate and memorize things. At the same time, your decision-making ability will be impacted. 


How long Adderall stays in your system will depend on different factors. Your age and weight, as well as how many doses you are taking, will decide its stay in your system. At the same time, how well your organs are functioning and what your rate of metabolism is will provide this information. 

Remember, Adderall is a prescription drug. It is a stimulant, and taking it as substance abuse is not right. While it may make you feel escalated and increase your attention and concentration, longer use can make you addicted. 

It is essential to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about Adderall use and its side effects. 


  1. National Library Of Medicine – Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulant medications as cognitive enhancers
  2. American Addiction Centers – How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Impact of obesity on drug metabolism and elimination in adults and children
  4. National Library Of Medicine – Drug Metabolism
  5. National Library Of Medicine – Understanding the time course of pharmacological effect: a PKPD approach
  6. National Library Of Medicine – Aging and liver disease
  7. ScienceDirect – Impact of gastrointestinal physiology on drug absorption in special populations––An UNGAP review
  8. National Library Of Medicine – Raising Awareness About Prescription and Stimulant Abuse in College Students Through On-Campus Community Involvement Projects
  9. National Library Of Medicine – Buyer Beware: Pitfalls in Toxicology Laboratory Testing

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