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How Long Does Adderall® Stay In Your System? Everything You Need To Know About Adderall®

How Long Does Adderall® Stay In Your System

Adderall® is one of the common prescriptions. Many people take this important medication, from children and teens to adults and seniors. It’s a great medication for improving quality of life and address a range of mental disorders that are best treated with medication.

That said, Adderall® is also a performance boosting drug, making it a popular target for abuse, especially in high performance industries, among college students, and even as early as high school and middle school.

There are many things you should know about Adderall® if you’ve been given this drug as a prescription, from how long Adderall stays in your system to the risks and side effects that come with taking the medication.

It’s just as important for people who are considering taking Adderall® without a prescription to have this information as well, so they can understand the added risks.

So, let’s talk about what Adderall® is good for, how it’s used, how long it stays in your system, and everything else you need to know to make a good decision about whether Adderall® is right for you.

What Is Adderall® Used For

Adderall® is most commonly used to help treat ADHD, narcolepsy, [1] and similar disorders where the patient can benefit from having a stimulant. It helps provide long lasting energy that makes it easier to stay awake, concentrate, and get things done.

It’s important to remember that Adderall® is not a cure for these conditions. It simply helps to treat some of the harder symptoms.

Similarly, it’s important to remember that Adderall® is not the only medication that can be used for these conditions, or even the best one for all patients. If Adderall® doesn’t work properly for you, or stops working for a while after you’ve been taking it, you may need to stop taking Adderall® so your doctor can switch you to a different medication.

Switching medications often involves slowly lowering your dose, stopping entirely for a short time, and then slowly building up to an effective dose of the new medication. Stopping Adderall® is one of the main reasons people need to know how long Adderall® stays in your system, so you know when to predict symptoms, and when it’s safe to start taking a new stimulant medication.

How Long Does Adderall® Stay In Your System?

Adderall® is available in several different forms, and both the form and the dose of the medication can make a difference in how long it will stay in your system. Adderall® XR [2] is a long lasting form of medication, which only needs to be taken once a day. More often, Adderall® is taken twice a day.

The main difference between Adderall® XR and Adderall®, in terms of how long the medication stays in your system, is that Adderall® XR lasts longer. You probably won’t have any withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours after your last dose. However, in some cases, you might start craving the medication a little earlier depending on how you metabolize it.

For regular Adderall® users, you may start to feel withdrawal symptoms within 6-12 hours of your last dose. For some people you might not get Adderall® withdrawal symptoms for a little longer, especially if you’ve been taking Adderall® for a long time or if you were prescribed a particularly high dose of the medication before stopping.

How long does Adderall® stay in your system?

Symptoms Of Adderall® Withdrawal

Because at least mild withdrawal symptoms are common any time you stop taking Adderall®, whether you’re trying to switch medications or not, it’s important to know what to expect.

Here are some of the common symptoms [3] of Adderall® withdrawal:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Increased appetite
  • Slow heart rate
  • Slowed movements

If your symptoms become severe, or you have symptoms that aren’t on this list or that your doctor didn’t discuss with you before, it’s a good idea to call them or seek medical attention if your symptoms aren’t tolerable.

Side Effects And Risks Of Adderall® Use

Stopping Adderall® isn’t the only time you’re likely to deal with side effects, and there are some risks from regular use of Adderall® and Adderall® withdrawal.

Before you start taking Adderall®, whether you’re taking it with a prescription or using it recreationally, you need to understand the side effects and risks of use.

Side Effects Of Adderall®

Adderall® is known to have a fair number of side effects even when used properly, but severe side effects or side effects that don’t get better over time can be a sign that you are taking more Adderall® than you need.

If you can’t tolerate the side effects, or feel like you feel better without Adderall® than you feel with it, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor. You might do better with a different medication, or you might be on the wrong dose of Adderall® for your needs.

Common side effects of Adderall® include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increased anxiety
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Headaches, or migraines in rare cases

Other problems, like increased depression, seizures or tremors, mania, confusion, rashes, or hallucinations are all signs of severe adverse reactions to Adderall®. [4] If you have any of these reactions you should seek immediate medical care and then work with your doctor to see if a different medication works better for you.

Adderall® Risks

In addition to the risk of a bad medication reaction, there are other risks associated with Adderall® use as well.

For one thing, Adderall® is known to be habit forming. It’s a combination of amphetamine salts with other medications, so it’s common for people to develop a physical chemical dependence on the medication.

Adderall® also shouldn’t be mixed with some other medications and foods, including alcohol, caffeine, and citrus fruits.

Caffeine can be dangerous because it can increase the potency of the medication, and also make the side effects harder to manage.

Alcohol can be dangerous mostly because it has the opposite effect from Adderall®, making it harder to tell how inebriated you are. People who use both drugs may be more likely to behave oddly or make risky decisions.

Lastly, the high concentration of vitamin C in citrus fruits and some other foods can reduce absorption of Adderall®, meaning that you won’t get the full benefit of the medications when you eat them.

Is Adderall® Addictive?

Adderall® isn’t typically thought of as an addictive drug, but some people do get addicted to the medication. Even people who take the medication as prescribed can develop an addiction.

If you develop an addiction, it’s important to reach out for help so you can overcome the addiction and get back to living the way you want to.

Does Adderall® Build Up In Your System?

Yes, Adderall® can build up in your system slightly. However, it’s rare for Adderall® to build up so much that it becomes dangerous just because your body uses the Adderall® that’s available.

The main side effect of having Adderall® built up in your system is that it can take a little longer to go into withdrawal when you stop taking the medication. But, it shouldn’t take more than a few extra hours for your body to use any residual Adderall, and from there your recovery will be just like anyone else stopping taking Adderall®.

Signs Of Adderall® Addiction

Signs Of Adderall® Addiction

There are a lot of potential signs of an Adderall® addiction, but here are some of the most common ones that you should pay attention to. If you have any of these signs or symptoms of Adderall® addiction, it might be time to talk to your doctor.

  • You take Adderall® without a prescription
  • You take more Adderall® than prescribed, or take it more often than prescribed
  • You have or have considered ordering Adderall® online
  • You have or have considered going to more than one doctor to get prescriptions for Adderall®
  • You feel like you can’t live up to other people’s expectations without taking Adderall®
  • You feel like you need Adderall® to live up to your full potential (which can be normal for some patients)
  • You have or have considered stealing things to pay for Adderall®
  • You have or have considered asking a friend or family member for access to their Adderall® prescription
  • You use or have considered using Adderall® to avoid sleep
  • You use or have considered using Adderall® to get high

How To Get Help For Adderall® Addiction

If you’re dealing with an addiction to Adderall®, it can be hard to get help, especially if you feel ashamed of the addiction or are worried about judgement from your medical providers.

The good news is that many trained professionals want to help you, not judge you.

If you’re dealing with an Adderall® addiction, it’s common to need professional medical care to overcome that addiction. One good option to get away from the addiction, and the risk of relapsing, is to go to a residential rehab center that can provide round the clock care while you detox, and care and supportive therapy to hep overcome the addiction long term.

If that sounds like a good option for you, or you’re interested in finding the best place to overcome your addiction, call Ocean Recovery. We’ll be happy to talk about the programs we offer, how we can help, and answer any questions you have.


  1. Iannelli V. Verywell Health. (2020, September 23). What you need to know about adderall® for ADHD. Retrieved from on 2023, February 19
  2. Morin A. Verywell Mind. (2022, November 27). Everything you should know about treating ADHD with adderall® XR. Retrieved from on 2023, February 19
  3. Hersh E. Healthline (2019, October 3). How long does adderall® stay in your system? Retrieved from on 2023, February 19
  4. Villines Z. Medical News Today. (2021, March 29). How long does adderall® stay in your system? Retrieved from on 2023, February 19

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The internet contains a vast amount of misinformation, but when it comes to your health only peer reviewed, research centered data matters. At Ocean Recovery, all content published throughout our website has been rigorously medically reviewed by a doctorate level clinician, and cross checked for medical accuracy. Our editorial process helps our readers trust that the information they are consuming is factual and based upon scientific data. Your health is our top priority, find out more about how we safeguard the integrity of information on our website. Read More About Our Process

Last medically reviewed March 1, 2023.