How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Quick Overview

Adderall has a half life of 9 to 14 hours, which means that 9 to 14 hours after dosage, only half of the drug remains in your body. Adderall will completely clear of your system in 3 days. However, this can vary based on several factors.

Testing for Adderall can be done through urine, hair, saliva and blood.

  • In urine, Adderall can be detected for up to 4 to 7 days.
  • In hair, Adderall can be detected about a week after use for  for up to 90 days.
  • In saliva, Adderall can be detected 20 minutes after use and can be detected for up to 48 hours.
  • In blood, Adderall can be detected 12 to 24 hours after dosage and can be detected for 24 hours.

how long does adderall stay in your system
Adderall is an amphetamine, meaning it is a central nervous system stimulant. It is used most often to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder, a condition in which people have a difficult time focusing or paying attention to a single task and act impulsively. Individuals with attention deficit hyperactive disorder take the medication daily and it produces a calming effect, allowing them to focus on a task at hand.
Since it is a stimulant, Adderall increases the level of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that affects pleasure, movement and attention) in the brain. When stimulants are introduced into the system, they slowly increase the amount of dopamine. Often doctors will prescribe a lower dose to begin, and gradually work upward until the desired effect is achieved.
Like many drugs, Adderall can be abused and become addictive. When taken in a manner different than prescribed, Adderall can rapidly increase the amount of dopamine in the brain and create a feeling of euphoria. In order to continue reaching this effect, the amount of medication taken must be increased, as the brain adjusts over time. This can create a cycle of use and addiction to Adderall.

A lesser known danger of Adderall addiction comes when alcohol is introduced into the body at the same time as Adderall. According to, “Adderall has the ability to mask certain indicators of intoxication that people would otherwise use to slow or stop their consumption. If these signs go unnoticed, the user is at risk of continued drinking—potentially leading to alcohol poisoning, coma, or death.”

Factors that Influence How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

Body composition

The way your body is made up can affect the length of time it takes for your body to be clear of Adderall. Your body fat percentage, height, weight and muscle mass all play a role in this time frame. The amphetamine mixed salts in Adderall are known to be hydrophilic, meaning they will not bind to fat. Someone with low muscle mass and high body fat will probably be clear of Adderall faster than someone with high muscle mass and low fat. This is because having more muscle mass means an individual has increased water in the body, and since ingredients of Adderall are hydrophilic, this allows them to circulate the body for longer periods of time.

Food in the system

While food won’t necessarily affect how quickly Adderall works, it can affect how rapidly the body is able to be clear of it. When food is also in the system, the body will be working to metabolize the food as well as the medication, meaning it will take longer to complete the process for both.

PH levels

The PH levels of the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts may have an effect on how long Adderall stays in the system. If someone has a high PH level, the kidneys will take longer to process Adderall and for it to exit the body through the urinary tract. Those will a lower PH level are likely to be ridded of the drug faster since the drug is able to remain in its hydrophilic state. PH level can be affected by a number of things, including food and drink.

Organ function

Organs such as the liver and kidney play an important role in ridding the body of many substances, including drugs like Adderall. When an organ does not function or does not function as it is supposed to, then this process is slower. If kidney function is not normal, the drug may remain in the system longer than normal or even be recirculated. The same goes for liver function. Since the liver plays a role in metabolizing substances in the body, the process will slow if the liver is not functioning as it should be.

Dosage amount

Dosage of a medication can also greatly affect how long it takes to clear the system. The more Adderall someone has taken, the longer it will take for the body to be ridded of it since there is more to metabolize.

Frequency of use

Those who have been using Adderall regularly or daily will likely take longer for the system to be clear of it in comparison to someone who has only used the drug a few times. When the drug is taken daily or frequently, it can accumulate in the body, and in turn it takes the body longer to break down all of the drug and rid itself of it.

Urine testing

As with most types of drug testing, Adderall use can show in a urinalysis. This means that the urine is tested for the metabolites that the drug produces, which remain in the system longer than the drug itself. While most of the drug is eliminated within two to 18 hours of use, urine could test positive for up to three days.

Hair testing

Hair testing involves collecting a hair sample from an individual and testing the hair follicles for metabolites of Adderall. Hair testing often allows for the longest window of time to detect drug use, as it can detect use for up to a month afterwards. However, it often takes at least one week after use for metabolites to be present in hair follicles.

Saliva testing

Though not common, saliva testing is occasionally used to detect Adderall use. Once taken from an individual, saliva is taken to a laboratory and analyzed for metabolites. Saliva testing is thought to be the method that will detect Adderall use the most quickly, as it can show up in saliva as soon as 20 minutes after use. It may remain detectable for up to 48 hours after use.

Blood testing

Another uncommon method of testing for Adderall use is testing the blood. This is an invasive type of testing. It also only offers a short window for detection of the drug, typically only within 24 hours of use.

Testing for Adderall use may be administered in a number of situations. If use is suspected among students in an academic setting, testing is a possibility. Some employers also administer tests for screen for the drug randomly or if use is suspected. Those with a criminal history and on probation may also be tested from time to time. Since the time it takes for the body to be clear of Adderall is dependent upon a number of factors, there is no clear timetable for how long it may take. The only way to be sure you will test negatively for the drug is to abstain from use completely.

Adderall Abuse. Accessed 19 March 2017.

Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accessed 19 March 2017.

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