Adderall Facts – How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System

So what magical substance does all this? It’s called Adderall. It makes you happy; it can help fix your appetite, reduce fatigue, increase your attention span and most importantly, it is used to treat diseases like ADHD, depression and Narcolepsy. But is it effortless as it seems and as shown in most Hollywood movies?

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System

Chances are that you must have heard the name before, and if not, after reading this blog, we hope you will develop a firm understanding of it. We are going to cover everything in this blog; what is it? How long does Adderall stay in your system, and how your body reacts to it.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant drug and prescription medicine combining Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine. It is from a medication group called central nervous system stimulants. These stimulants commonly treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy. It works well in increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, two neurotransmitters that help control behaviour and emotions. When you take Adderall, it affects your brain’s ability to produce these chemicals on its own. Your brain will start functioning more effectively and efficiently than before. From several studies, Adderall showed improved attention and focus and reduce impulsive behaviours. Adderall is legal and is considered dangerous because of its high risk of dependency and abuse. 

Adderall comes in pill form and is taken once daily or as prescribed by the doctor. 

Now we will cover some of the most common questions that people have in their minds regarding this medicine:

How Long Does Adderall Last or How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Well, there are two types of Adderall, and the duration of the effect depends on which one are you taking. Several other factors are also responsible such as the person’s drug tolerance, height, weight if the person has ADHD or not and sleep pattern.

The first immediate release version is Adderall IR, and its effects last from 4 to 6 hours. 

The second one is the extended-release version called Adderall XR, and its effects last for a more extended period, up to 12 hours.

It is strictly not recommended to take Adderall XR more than once in 24 hours as it can increase the risk of a drug overdose. Please consult an expert before consuming.

Also Read: Do You Breathe the Correct Way? Here are the 5 best breathing techniques for anxiety

How Long Does Adderall Take To Kick In?

The effects of Adderall usually kick in within 30 to 60 minutes. However, some people report that it takes longer than this for the drug to work. Again it depends on the body to body. After taking the pill, it hits your central nervous system, and you start feeling hyperactive. 

Can Adderall Cause Depression? 

Yes, it can. This drug is highly addictive and causes severe side effects if taken without proper prescription. People take this drug for the first time or have not used it in a long time.

Overusing any drug will lead to several mental difficulties, no matter how beneficial. Adderall is responsible for increasing the dopamine levels in the brain, which leads to feelings of euphoria, alertness, and energy. These all are mental triggers which last only for a few hours.(Trusted Source)

History Of Adderall?

More tha 20 million people worldwide use Amphetamine, the active ingredient of Adderall. Amphetamine has been around since the 1800s and has a pretty near history. It was first synthesised by a Romanian chemist named Lazar Edeleanu in 1887. This drug appeared in the market for people named Benzidrine or Bennies in 1933. Then the US Army began issuing a “pep pill” in 1943, which helped the soldiers to fight battle fatigue and boost morale. 

These pep pills were pure Amphetamine, which is a stimulant. It has been estimated that US troops shipped more than 150 million of these pills by World War II. Along with the US, Japanese and Germans also used these pills and amazingly, the German dictator Adolf Hitler would take injections of Amphetamine daily. American Amry continued to use these pills during the war against Vietnam and Korea. Then in the year 1956, the supply of this drug was stopped because unrestricted access to pure Amphetamine is risky. 

Today, a low dosage of Amphetamine is used to treat ADHD. The majority of ADHD drugs stimulate the central nervous system. 

How Will Adderall Affect Your Body?

So what happens when you take the first dosage of Adderall? How does your body react?

Once you swallow the pill, it will take around 30-60 minutes for the effects to kick in. Meanwhile, it will lower dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. These two chemicals are responsible for increasing concentration and alertness. Suddenly you will start to feel more focused than ever before, and this feeling will last for the next four to six hours. Your heartbeat level will increase more than usual. Adderall stimulates the central nervous system of your body and sends adrenaline overdrives which cause your blood vessels to constrict, raise your blood pressure and increase your heart rate. It can even numb your hands and toes if you have poor circulation. 

Who Can Use Adderall?

Adderall and stimulants are prescribed for people with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). It is also consumed by patients suffering from Narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder known for causing bouts of sleep and drowsiness. Adderall works by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in your brain, namely dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals control many functions, including mood, movement, sleep, appetite and memory.

So the people who have problems with attention and focus, it brings them to a baseline where they feel productive, wakeful, and euphoric, and focus increases. If you have ADHD or other conditions that cause you to be easily distracted or overactive, then Adderall may help you manage these symptoms. However, it should not be taken without medical supervision as it can lead to serious side.

Adderall comes in several different dosages: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20mg. Your doctor will prescribe you a low dosage of Adderall depending on your age, body type and medical background. If you are 18 or older, a typical starting dose of around 5 MG, which you must take once or twice daily. Depending on the medical condition, the maximum dosage can be extended to 40 MG. And anything beyond that can put you in serious trouble. 

Sometimes college students take these drugs during exams as it helps in staying awake, but the continuous use and dependency can result in terrible withdrawal symptoms.

  • Usage: It is better to consult a doctor or medical specialist before taking these drugs. Because they will be prescribed it after considering several factors, a very minimum dosage of Adderall is usually specified for the patient to take once or twice a day.
  • Benefits: It can help you increase focus, be more productive at work, helps cope with drowsiness, improve listening skills and also to cure Narcolepsy. But remember, all these are the short-term benefits of this drug, which only acts as a quick fix.

What Is An Adderall Crash?

Adderall is a stimulant, so it can leave you feeling slugging and disconnected when it wears off. When you stop taking Adderall after continuous usage, it causes an Adderall crash, resulting in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as depression, sluggishness and trouble sleeping. To stop taking the pills, you must consult a doctor first. 

Symptoms of Adderall Crash:

  • Your body will go through a phase of extreme craving for more Adderall, and you will start to feel abnormal without it. 
  • One of the other symptoms recorded in the patients is insomnia. You may have trouble sleeping. You will lay on your bed for hours but can’t fall asleep.
  • No matter how much you eat, you will always feel hungry.
  • Small things may trigger you, and you become anxious and irritated. You may also become very short-tempered.
  • Other symptoms are panic attacks, depression, lack of energy and suicidal thoughts.

Initially, your doctor prescribes you a very low dosage of Adderall, increasing the dosage gradually until the drug has the desired effect. If you lower the dosage progressively, it is less likely to give you a withdrawal symptom or an Adderall crash when you stop taking it. Avoid taking the drugs at night as it may result in trouble in sleeping or falling asleep. 

Not everyone suffers from an Adderall Crash when they stop taking the drugs; slowly decreasing the usage under a doctor’s supervision will help you to avoid it altogether. Widhrall symptoms are more severe for those who take a very high dosage.


Reading and acquiring knowledge about a medical condition will help you understand the situation and take the necessary steps on your own. It is good that you want to educate yourself.

The most important thing is to take any drugs under the guidance of a well-qualified doctor or medical expert. Only you are responsible for your health. If you find this blog informational, please consider sharing it with those who need it. Thank you for reading.

Sejal is qualified in health sciences from Yale University and has a degree in Psychology from University of Michigan. She is currently pursuing her Master's in clinical psychology from Gujarat University. Her aim is to aid people in improving their health and achieve fit and healthy bodies and wishes to propagate her knowledge to everyone for their betterment.

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