How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It speeds up and heightens some bodily processes and stimulates human behaviour. It is a combination drug that contains Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, two stimulants that affect the body's impulse control and hyperactivity. Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine belong to a group of medicine known as central nervous system stimulants.

Ingredients of Adderall

Adderall contains different forms of amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine (active ingredients). These forms include Amphetamine Asparate, Amphetamine Sulphate, Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, and Dextroamphetamine Sulphate. This mixture is in a (3:1) ratio between Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine.

The inactive ingredients of Adderall are lactitol, microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate.

Available Forms of Adderall

Adderall is available in two different forms.

  • Immediate-release(IR)
  • Extended-release (XR)

The immediate-release formulation is available under the brand name Adderall. The 12 hours extended-release formulation is available under the brand Adderall XR. The 16 hours extended-release formulation is available under the brand Mydayis. The immediate and extended-release formulations of Adderall are available as generic drugs in the UK. Mydayis is available only as a brand-name drug. 

Indications of Adderall

Adderall is the most prevalent central nervous system stimulant prescription drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and recurring sleep episodes during the day or narcolepsy. ADHD is diagnosed if hyperactive, impulsive, or inattentive symptoms cause impairment and are present before age 7. In addition, there is a significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

  1. The attention-deficit type has at least 6 of the following symptoms:
  • Careless mistakes
  • Lack of sustained attention
  • Poor listener
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful
  • Loses things
  • Poor organisation
  • Failed to follow through on tasks
  • Avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  1. The hyperactive type has at least 6 of the following significant symptoms:
  • Fidgeting
  • Leaving seat
  • Inappropriate running/climbing
  • Difficulty with quiet activities
  • Excessive talking
  • Impatience
  • Restlessness
  • Blurting answers

The combined type has symptoms of both attention deficit and hyperactive types.

  1. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. It is an uncontrollable desire for sleep or sudden attacks of deep sleep at inconvenient times throughout the day. 

Off-Label Uses of Adderall

The doctors may prescribe Adderall for other symptoms and conditions besides ADHD and narcolepsy. This is called off-label use, and the FDA does not approve it. The doctors sometimes prescribe Adderall with other antidepressants to treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Losing weight

Therapeutic Benefits of Adderall

Long-term Adderall therapy at the prescribed dosage, along with counselling or other psychotherapies, is effective for ADHD and narcolepsy. It enhances the quality of life and academic achievements of children having ADHD by controlling hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. The drug is supportive in the following manner:

  • Increases your ability to pay attention
  • Helps to stay focused on the task
  • Controls behaviour problems
  • Improves listening skills
  • Controls impulsivity
  • Sharpens your organisational skills
  • Promotes wakefulness, enables you to stay awake during the day

How Adderall works| Mechanism of Action

Amphetamine works by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. It also triggers the release of other hormones like epinephrine, serotonin, and histamine. Neurotransmitters work by carrying messages between the brain cells. The function of Adderall is to block the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin into the presynaptic neuron and increase the letting out of these monoamines into the synaptic space. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, also called the "feel-good hormone." Serotonin carries messages between the brain cells and contributes to well-being, good mood, and appetite. Serotonin also helps regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle and internal clock. Adderall binds to norepinephrine and dopamine receptors in the brain and epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. Sufficient levels or the balance of these neurotransmitters means messages are easily transmitted, resulting in the desired outcome.

Is Adderall a Controlled Drug?

Adderall is a federally controlled substance (SII). It can cause psychological and physical dependence and has the potential for being abused and misused. Selling, trading, or giving Adderall to others is against the law. It is among the most misused drugs due to its enhanced cognitive benefits in otherwise healthy individuals. Athletes highly misuse Adderall to boost their athletic performance.

How Long Does The Drug Stay in Your System?

Adderall is detectable in a person's system between 20 and 96 hours after the last intake, depending on the test used in each case. The time it may be detected is influenced by several factors, including weight, urine pH, frequency of use, dose, age, and the last use. 

Adderall is absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract and either deactivated by your liver or eliminated unchanged in the urine. About 20-25 % of it is changed to metabolites, including hippuric and benzoic acids. 

Health professionals and sports organisations usually test for amphetamines, a component in Adderall. In addition, urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests are all used to determine whether a person takes Adderall or similar drugs. 

Urine test: Adderall may be detected in the urine for about 48-72 hours after the last intake. This test will show a higher concentration of Adderall than other tests, as Adderall is eliminated through urine. 

Hair test: Though less prevalent than urine tests, hair tests offer a more significant window of possible detection time. Traces of amphetamines may be detected for up to 3 months after the last use. 

Saliva test: Traces of Adderall may be detected in saliva for 20-50 hours after the last use.

Blood test: While traces of Adderall may be detected soon after the last use, it will only remain in the blood for about 46 hours.

What Can Affect How Long Adderall Stays in Your Body? 

How long Adderall stays in the system depends on several factors. For example, the rate at which Adderall is eliminated from your body may be affected by the pH of the urine. Those with a low urine pH will eliminate the drug faster. In contrast, a person with a higher pH may slowly eliminate the drug. Other factors that may affect how long Adderall stays in a person's system include: 

  • How often the person took Adderall.
  • What dosage does a person take.
  • When the person last took Adderall.
  • Weight.
  • Kidney or liver impairment.


Adderall is a stimulant medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It contains a mixture of both Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine. Adderall leaves your body via urine, but drug tests may still detect it sooner or later, depending on the type of test.