How much Adderall can I take in a day?

Adderall dosage differs from person to person. Adderall XR dosage also varies from a normal Adderall dose. Adderall is a well-known treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are two versions, Adderall and Adderall XR, which are not interchangeable. These medications have the same ingredients but tend to be absorbed differently in the body.

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.

Available forms and strengths of Adderall

Adderall is available in two different forms.

  • Immediate-release (IR): Adderall Tablet comes in 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 12.5mg, 15mg, 20mg, & 30mg Tablets.
  • Extended-release (XR): Adderall XR Capsule comes in 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg, & 30mg strengths.

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.

Adderall dosage

Adderall is available as Adderall (IR), Adderall (ER), and Mydayis in different strengths. The Adderall tablet dosage depends on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Type and severity of the symptoms
  • The form of Adderall you take
  • Other pre-existing medical conditions

Adderall and Adderall XR doses to start

Adderall Dose: Starting dose will vary, but doctors typically start adults and children over 6 at 5 mg once or twice per day. Children between 3 to 5 years old typically start at 2.5 mg daily.

Adderall XR Dose: Starting dose will vary, but doctors typically start adults at 20 mg once daily and children (ages 6 to 17) at 10 mg once daily.

Adderall and Adderall XR doses: Recommended daily doses

Adderall Dose: The maximum daily dosage is 40 mg daily for adults and 30 mg daily for children.

Adderall XR Dose: The maximum daily dosage is 40 mg daily for adults and 30 mg daily for children.

The Adderall maximum daily dosage and the Adderall XR maximum daily dosage will vary depending on how you respond to the medication.

The doctor will start you on a low dosage and gradually adjust it over time to reach the required dosage. For Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the typical dosage is 5 mg once or twice per day. For narcolepsy, the starting dosage is 10 mg once daily. Take the first dose as you wake up and the additional dosages every 4-6 hours apart. Adderall tablet is usually prescribed 2-3 times daily. Adderall has a rapid onset of action and makes you feel better in 1-2 hours. Avoid taking Adderall tablets later in the evening, as you may have trouble falling asleep at night. You may take Adderall with your meal or empty stomach. Taking the drug with your meal is best to avoid stomach issues.

Adderall administration VS Adderall XR administration

  • Adderall: Adderall tablets are usually taken 2-3 times a day. Take the first dose as you wake up; subsequent doses must be taken 4 to 6 hours apart.
  • Adderall XR: Take Adderall XR capsules once daily in the morning, as they can make it difficult to fall asleep if taken later in the day. You may take the capsule whole or open them and sprinkle the contents on applesauce, which should then be eaten immediately.

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. Adderall blocks the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin into the presynaptic neuron. Instead, it increases their release 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.

How to use it safely?

It is always best to use Adderall only when the doctor or physician recommends it. They can better outweigh the benefits and risks associated with the drug. Carefully follow the directions on your prescription or read all medication instructions or guides on the leaflet. Adderall is an oral medicine; swallow the tablet/capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not chew and crush the tablet/capsule. Try to take the drug at a fixed time each day to obtain the optimal result. Adderall is not for children under three years, and Adderall XR is not for children under six.

Take Adderall for as long as the doctor has prescribed. Do not stop taking the drug despite feeling better. Sudden discontinuation of the drug may result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Try not to miss the recommended daily dosage of Adderall. Consult your doctor if you find no improvement in a few days or if any new or worsening physical or psychological symptoms appear. Adderall may not work well if you take it longer; consult your physician if the drug stops working.

Start Adderall on a low dose, the minimum strength, if taking Adderall for the first time without any professional guidance. Be cautious, carefully increase your dosage and closely self-monitor any side effects or allergic reactions. Gradually increase your dosage if you are confident that your body has adapted well to the drug. Do not overdose or misuse the drug, which may result in fatal consequences.


Adderall dosage and Adderall XR dosage for both children and adults are based on medication response, and you should always check with your healthcare provider about the right starting dose.