Adderall is a branded prescription drug consisting of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This stimulant medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Adderall is legal for medical purposes, but it is sometimes misused and abused by students and professionals to maximize productivity. In this blog, we will discuss the working and side effects of Adderall and how long does Adderall last.

How does Adderall work? 

Adderall stimulates the central nervous system. Patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are thought to have insufficient dopamine in their frontal cortex, which is the brain’s “reward center.” 

As a result, they may engage in impulsive or thrill-seeking behavior or become easily side-tracked. Adderall works by boosting the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. 

These neurotransmitters are responsible for emotions of pleasure, attentiveness, and attention in the brain. It boosts focus, decreases impulsive behavior, and improves attentiveness. This allows patients with ADHD to quit craving stimuli, which allows them to focus better. 

How long does Adderall last? 

The gastrointestinal tract is where Adderall is absorbed. It is subsequently metabolized by your liver and excreted in your urine. Although Adderall is excreted through urine, it acts throughout the body and can be detected in a variety of body fluids like:

  • Blood: Adderall is most easily detected in blood testing after consumption. A blood test can identify Adderall up to 46 hours after the latest use. 
  • Urine: Adderall can be found in your urine for 48 to 72 hours after your previous use. Because Adderall is excreted through urine, this test usually reveals a higher concentration of Adderall than other tests.
  • Saliva: Adderall can be detected in saliva 20 to 50 hours after it was last consumed.
  • Hair: Hair drug testing can identify Adderall for up to three months or 90 days after its last use.

How long do the variants of Adderall last?

The famous prescription drug Adderall comes in two varieties: Adderall IR and Adderall XR. It stands for immediate release, while XR is an abbreviation for extended-release. Adderall IR is normally offered as an oral tablet, while Adderall XR is available in capsule form. The only difference between Adderall IR and Adderall XR is their half-lives in the human body. While Adderall IR lasts four to six hours, Adderall XR lasts about 12 hours. 

What factors affect the duration of your stay on Adderall? 

Every person is different. All the important bodily processes happen at varying rates in different people’s systems. Many factors can influence the amount of time Adderall remains in your body before it is metabolized. Let’s look at some of those factors.

Body Composition: 

Body composition includes your total weight, body fat percentage, and height. These factors can influence how long does  Adderall last remains in your system. In normal cases, the dose of a drug is adjusted based on body weight; however, in the case of Adderall, this is ineffective. This is because Adderall is metabolized by a specific liver pathway and exits the body faster in heavily weighted persons.


Your liver contains enzymes that not only metabolize food but also metabolize medicines. Everything from your exercise to your gender to the medications you consume might influence your rate of metabolism. The rate at which a substance is digested determines how long it remains in your body. In simpler words, the faster Adderall is metabolized, the faster it leaves your body.


Adderall has various strengths, from 5 mg to 30 mg tablets and capsules. The higher the dose of the drug, the longer your body takes to metabolize it completely. As a result, larger doses will remain in your system for longer. Adderall is available in both immediate and extended-release forms, which disintegrate in the body at varying rates. This directly impacts how long the medication remains in your system. 

Sleeping Habits: 

When contemplating the half-life of Adderall, it is essential to consider sleeping habits. Using Adderall late at night may also keep you awake. That is why it is critical to consult a physician to develop a prescription schedule that promotes better sleep.


Medication can take longer to exit your system as you age. The rate of metabolism depends on liver function, kidney function, body mass, urine generation and output, body composition, etc. Because the size of your liver shrinks with age, it may take longer for your liver to completely break down Adderall. Kidney function may also decline due to age-related illnesses such as heart disease. Therefore, urine output declines. As you age, your body composition changes, affecting how quickly your body breaks down and eliminates drugs. All these factors can cause drugs to linger in your body for an extended period.

Kidney and Liver function: 

Adderall is absorbed and distributed by the GI tract, metabolized by the liver, and eliminated by the kidneys. People with liver or renal problems may have larger quantities of Adderall in their bloodstream for longer periods than those who do not have these problems.

What are the side effects of Adderall?

The use of Adderall can lead to general side effects. Some of the side effects of Adderall are: 

  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

On the other hand, overuse of Adderall can cause:

  • Severe Insomnia 
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Skin disorders
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart palpitations
  • Impotence
  • Hair loss

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Adderall, a branded form of amphetamine, is extremely useful in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is best to consume Adderall under the guidance of your doctor or pharmacist. We hope this blog has made you understand how long does Adderall last in your body. Depending on the detection test performed, Adderall can be detected in your system for various hours or even days. While Adderall can be detected in saliva for 20 to 50 hours, hair follicle drug testing can detect it for up to 90 days after its last use.

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