How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

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 usually completely clear your system within 3 days. However, this can vary based on several factors.

Different tests detect Adderall within different timeframes:

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

Infographic showing how long Adderall stays in your system

What Factors Influence How Long Adderall Stays in Your System?

Many factors influence how long Adderall stays in your system, from body composition to frequency of use.

Body Composition

Adderall metabolizes more quickly in people with higher body weight. When people with a higher weight take the same dosage as someone who weighs less, a smaller amount of the drug is available in their bloodstream.

Food in the System

Food does not affect the metabolism of Adderall, and it can be taken with or without food. However, it may not absorb into the bloodstream as well in acidic environments, like when the stomach is full of food.

PH levels

The PH levels in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts may affect how long it stays in the system. The kidneys will take longer to remove Adderall through the urine if someone has a high pH level (more alkaline). Also, things like food and drink can influence the body’s pH.

Organ function

Organs such as the liver and kidneys play an important role in ridding the body of many substances, including Adderall. This process can be slower when an organ does not function as it is supposed to. 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. The liver plays a role in metabolizing substances in the body, so the process will slow down if the liver is not functioning as it should be.

Dosage amount

A medication’s dosage can also greatly affect how long it takes to clear the system. As with any prescription drug, the more someone has taken, the longer it will take for the body to remove it.

Frequency of use

Those who have been using Adderall regularly or daily will likely take longer to clear it from the system compared 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, making it take longer to leave the body entirely.

What Drug Tests Screen for Adderall Abuse?

Urine testing

As with most types of drug testing, Adderall use can show in a urinalysis. The urine is tested for metabolites that the drug produces, which remain in the system longer than the drug itself. While most of the drug is eliminated within 36-70 hours of use, urine could test positive for up to 4 days.

Hair testing

Hair testing involves collecting a hair sample from an individual and testing the hair follicles for Adderall’s metabolites. Hair testing allows for the longest window of time to detect drug use, up to 3 months. However, it often takes at least 1 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 quickest method to detect drug abuse, as Adderall 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 drug use is testing the blood. This is an invasive type of testing. It also only offers a short window to detect the drug, typically only within 24 hours of use.

Testing for Adderall misuse may be administered in several situations.

  • If authorities suspect misuse among students in an academic setting, testing is a possibility.
  • Some employers also administer tests to screen for the drug randomly or if use is suspected.
  • People with a criminal history who are on probation may also be tested from time to time.

Since the time it takes for the body to be clear of Adderall, and the timeframe depends on many factors, there is no clear timetable for how long it may take. Because it has a high potential for abuse and addiction, it should be used with care. If you believe that you cannot stop using Adderall, or are abusing your prescription, seek medical help.

What is Adderall Prescribed For?

Adderall is the brand name for amphetamine salts, and it is a central nervous system stimulant. It most often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition in which people have difficulty focusing or paying attention to a single task and act impulsively. Individuals with ADHD generally take medication daily. It produces a calming effect, allowing them to focus on a task at hand.

  • Sources

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Adderall (CII).” March 2007. Accessed June 10, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.