ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. The worst part is that people ignore it in childhood, and it stays with you in your adulthood. People who have ADHD can become restless all of a sudden and can’t pay attention properly. Additionally, they can be overly active and might act without thinking. ADHD can lead to depression since the affected person is restless and can’t do many things properly. They’ll feel an inferiority complex among others which usually leads to living an anti-social life, another factor that causes depression.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a medication used to treat ADHD, and it is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. This is one of the most effective ADHD medicines for both children and adults. Adderall can help improve ADHD symptoms up to 70% in adults and 80% in children. While this is an excellent medicine, some people fall for Adderall addiction, which leads to several side effects. Therefore, learning how long Adderall stays in your system is a good idea, so you won’t misuse it.
Adderall is available in two types. The regular version tends to work fast since it is an immediate-release drug. Adderall XR is an extended-release drug that works slowly on your body and doesn’t have any reported severe side effects. Apart from ADHD, this medicine is also helpful in alleviating sleep disorders and reducing depression symptoms.
Adderall is available without a prescription, and since it works, people tend to misuse it. It contains d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts, and D-amphetamine is a highly addictive compound that gets on your nerves quickly. Since Adderall calms your body and improves your ability to focus, Adderall misuse is quite common among patients with ADHD; they’ll use it again as soon as the effects wear off.
How Long Does It Take Adderall To Fully Wear Off?
Once your take Adderall, it goes through the gastrointestinal tract and breaks down by the liver, and leaves your body from urine. How quickly it breaks down depends on your body, and it takes around a maximum of three days to leave your body. However, traces of Adderall remain, and it might show on drug tests even after three months.
Despite going through the liver and leaving your body via urine, this drug can be detected in multiple drug tests. The worst part is that those who engaged in Adderall abuse might not be able to remove the traces from their body for a long time. Even if they stop using the drugs, it might take years before their body is free from them.
Adderall has a different time frame to leave from different parts of your body. In some tests, it can be detected even after two days, while in some tests, it might be visible even after months. On the other hand, some factors significantly determine how quickly Adderall leaves your body.
While Adderall goes out through your urine, it moves through your body, leaving its traces at most points. The half-life of Adderall is 9 to 14 hours, meaning after this time, only half of the drug remains in your body. The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall are worse, so don’t stop using it all of a sudden.
Adderall and Urine Drug Testing
Here is how much time you should wait before going for a test after taking Adderall.
Blood Tests: Your blood is the second place to have higher traces of this medicine. Almost every blood test shows that you have been using Adderall. It takes around two days for your blood to remove the Adderall traces but the time may vary based on dosage and how much you use it. Also, if you take blood-thinning agents, Adderall XR can slow the blood flow removing the effect of other medicine. Stick to using the regular Adderall if you use other medications to improve the blood flow.
Urine Test: Your urine always has the highest amount of Adderall that can stay there for weeks if you overuse it. On average, it takes around three days for this medicine to leave through your urine. However, urine tests will show a much higher concentration of Adderall since it is eliminated from here. Drink plenty of water to keep your liver healthy, so it can easily break down and passes this medicine.
Saliva Tests: Since you take Adderall through your mouth, your saliva also contains traces of it. It takes around 50 hours at max for its traces to disappear. If you eat lots of food, take other medicines, and drink plenty of water, the traces might go away within 20 hours.
Hair Tests: Drug testing through hair is relatively uncommon, but if someone takes such a test, the results will detect Adderall. Unlike other organs or blood, these traces might take up to three months on average to disappear from your hair. If you keep on using the medicine, it might take an even longer time, which is why hair drug tests are not a preferred testing method.
Factors Affecting Adderall’s Stay In Your System
Once your body absorbs Adderall, only 20-25% of it is converted to metabolites, while the rest leaves your body. Now, the leaving time depends on your body and how healthy your body parts are.
Since it goes out of your body through urine, your urine pH levels will determine how quickly it should leave your body. A person with low urine pH will tend to eliminate the drug faster, while a person with high urine pH will take time to remove the drug.
Frequency of Use
How often you take Adderall significantly changes the time it takes to leave your body. If you take it multiple times a day, it will stay in your system for longer than usual. It might take more than a week for your body to remove Adderall from your blood completely. Additionally, drug abuse can also make it stay longer in your blood, and a drug test might show the traces even after four to five months. Either of the Adderall substance abuse can lead to adverse side effects, which also include permanent traces in your body.
The average dosage is 5 mg to 60 mg per day, and you have to take it at different times of the day unless advised by your doctor. Higher doses take more time to leave your body, while a meager dosage will take a lot less time. Moreover, the difference between the time when you take medicine is another factor. For example, if you took this medicine two days ago and are now retaking it, it will take three to four additional days to leave your body. However, your blood won’t have Adderall traces after two days, so that you can retake it without any issues.
Your Body Weight
Your body weight plays a significant role in removing Adderall from your body. The heavier you are, the more time it will take to get out of your body. On the other hand, this medicine can lead to a slow BMI (body mass index), which means anyone using this medication for ADHD won’t gain mass like an average person. If you are already skinny, make sure to use a lower dosage to avoid facing poor weight gain. However, it will also leave your body quickly if you have less weight, which is a plus point. Abusing Adderall while having less weight will bring more depression and body pain, so avoid doing that.
Kidney or Liver Impairment
Since Adderall breaks down in your liver and your urine flows through the kidney to the bladder, if these two body parts are not functioning properly, Adderall will take a much longer time to leave your body. Diabetic patients having ADHD needs to be extra careful since their liver and kidneys are already affected. They really need to follow a strict schedule and controlled dosage of Adderall to avoid facing its side effects.
The pace at which your body breaks down the medicine and absorbs it can significantly affect its elimination. If your body takes time to break and absorb the medication, it will take more time to leave your body. However, if you have an excellent metabolism, it will speed up the entire process.
The older you are, the more time Adderall will take to leave your body. The science behind this is simple; your body starts functioning slowly; thus, the medicines take time to do their work—the reason why people at a young age tend to get better much faster than older adults.
Your liver size shrinks as you age; thus, it takes more time to break down the medications, which means it will take more time to leave your body. Urine output also decreases with age, meaning you’ll lose less Adderall every time you pee.
Your kidney functions decrease as you age, holding the medication for more time before sending it to the bladder. Your body composition also changes with time, and your metabolism speed also reduces, another reason why Adderall will take more time to leave your system.
How Does Adderall Work?
In simple words, Adderall works by stimulating the central nervous system. It improves the activity of the central nervous system leading to decreased restlessness, improved mood, higher energy levels, and less fidgeting. These are the common effects of ADHD; thus, Adderall works excellently to remove these symptoms helping patients with ADHD.
People with ADHD have less dopamine (a type of neurotransmitter) than an average person in their frontal lobe (front part of the brain). This makes them get distracted easily and unable to focus on one thing. They can’t get the positive feeling that comes with dopamine in the frontal lobe.
The effects of this medicine will last based on the drug version. The immediate release will last around four to six hours, while the extended-release Adderall will stay with you the whole day. You only need to take this medication one time daily unless your doctor has given you different instructions.
Adderall calms these people and improves their ability to focus. However, people who don’t have ADHD use this medication will get euphoria and increased energy levels but also adverse mental and physical side effects. It is better not to use this medication if your body has enough dopamine naturally.
Along with this medication, getting socialized, exercising, behavioral therapy, emotional support, and improved lifestyle can also work to rescue ADHD symptoms. If a person is addicted to alcohol because of ADHD, they should visit alcohol addiction treatment centers.
Adderall misuse is common, and some people keep on using it even if their ADHD symptoms are gone. Because of its relaxing properties, most people use it as an anti-depressant which leads to addiction.
Side Effects of Adderall
There are some common side effects associated with Adderall, which are easy to deal with. Most of these side effects only happen in the initial stages and go away as your body adjusts itself to the medicine. However, if they won’t go away, it is better to seek medical help before things get worse.
Keep monitoring your health and the reactions your body makes, as you might get a different side effect than what we’ll mention below. Additionally, there are no studies to back whether this medicine is useful for children below the age of 3.
Common Side Effects
These common side effects will happen in the early stages or if your body doesn’t accept the medicine properly. Common side effects might include:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Mood changes, including nervousness or irritability
- Fast heart rate
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Dry mouth
If you experience any of these side effects, get some sleep. Usually, these side effects will go away after a rest. For some, you need to increase your water intake. Loss of appetite and weight loss is inevitable if you use this medicine. However, you have to keep a strict schedule and put lots of nutrients in your body so you won’t get weak.
On the other hand, you may experience all of these side effects, or you might get better after going through one or two. It is also possible that you might get away without facing these issues; it all depends on your physical and mental health.
Severe Side Effects
People with ADHD using this medicine on the usual dosage won’t feel severe side effects. They usually happen if you use this medicine without having ADHD or you misuse Adderall. They won’t go away after having some rest; you’ll need medical assistance immediately. These severe side effects might include:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- New behavioral problems
- Feeling cold
- Unexplained wounds
- Skin color changes to fingers or toes
- Muscle twitches
- Vision changes
- Mental health disorder
Some of these side effects will happen within hours, while others might happen after two or three days, and some are long-term effects. You never know which of these side effects will hit you, stick to the recommended dosage to stay on the safe side.
How to Avoid These Side Effects
You can’t avoid the common side effects unless your health is at its peak, which is difficult while experiencing ADHD. Most side effects are easy to avoid by using the lower dosage daily and letting your body fight against ADHD naturally.
The best way to prevent the severe side effects is to use ADHD once after three days. Even using it once, you’ll get the idea of whether this medication is suitable for your body or not. People who misuse this drug are more prone to facing adverse side effects, and the more they misuse it, the more permanent the effects will get. It can also affect your health which might lead to body issues that you never would expect.
Another way to avoid these side effects is to take it in a controlled environment with the help of your doctor. Talk to them about the timings and frequency and let them monitor the results. There are various Adderall alternatives to not face these severe side effects. In case of any issues, you’ll instantly get medical help which can prevent serious problems.
Benefits of Adderall
It is clear that Adderall is used to treat the symptoms of ADHD, but it also has other benefits.
Increase Your Ability to Pay Attention
If you have trouble paying attention to anything and you just lose yourself in thoughts, small doses of Adderall can be helpful. It clears your mind, allowing you to pay attention to the main subject. However, you’ll have beneficial results if you stick to the regular dosage and directions given by your doctor. If you excessively use this medication, you’ll have more depression and anxiety than before, and you’ll have an even hard time paying attention.
Control Behavior Problems
If you tend to do things out of the blue without thinking, Adderall can help control this behavior, and you’ll start paying attention before you act. This is a common symptom of ADHD, but it can also happen to anyone who can’t control their anger.
Can Help Treat Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a condition where you get sudden attacks of sleep and feel drowsiness all the time. Adderall can help you stay awake during the day so you can continue your work, and once the effects go off, you can sleep like normal. However, it should not be used on people having any sleep disorder or to treat tiredness.
How to Use Adderall
Follow the guide given by your pharmacist to use this medicine, and every time you go for a refill. You can take this medicine by mouth with or without food, and you can take it one to three times a day as directed by your doctor. The best time to take Adderall is in the morning, and if you require more than one dosage, the difference should be around four to six hours. It would be better not to take this medication late in the day since it might cause insomnia.
You might need to change your dosage based on your body’s reaction to treatment and the results. Talk to your doctor about how your body is reacting and follow the altered dosage they tell you about. If your doctor tells you to stop using this medicine temporarily, follow the advice as it will let you know if you need the medication more or not. If your behavior is changed even after stopping the medication, you won’t need it anymore.
On the other hand, this medicine might stop working for you if you use it for a very long time. The human body has the power to build tolerance against anything you consume daily. Taking small breaks while using this medication can help resolve this problem.
Don’t suddenly stop using the medicine; it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms like tiredness, depression, sleep disorder, and more. If you have been using this medication for a long time, you are more exposed to face withdrawal symptoms.
If you want to stop using this medicine, slowly lower the dosage until you the dosage is meager enough to not cause any issues upon leaving. Inform your doctor if you face any withdrawal symptoms before things get worst.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Yes, Adderall abuse can lead to addiction, and you’ll start facing the ADHD symptoms at their worst condition if your addiction leads to overdosing. Here are a couple of signs to indicate that you are addicted to Adderall and overdosing:
- Taking larger doses than intended multiple times a day for a prolonged time.
- You can’t stop yourself from taking this medicine.
- Your body takes more time to show and recover from the effects of Adderall. It simply means that your body is getting the hang of it and won’t offer the same results as before.
- You can’t pay attention to anything else because your mind is stuck on taking Adderall. This happens a lot as your body demands to use this drug so it can relax and stay focused. Try to endure it at the initial stages, and you won’t have to worry about addiction later on.
- Even though this drug is causing social or interpersonal problems, you keep on using it, and if someone tells you to quit, you get frustrated and angry.
- You tend to stay home and use Adderall instead of participating in activities that you loved to do before.
- Your body starts building tolerance as it is normal if you overdose or excessively use a drug.
- You’ll face withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it after getting addicted.
If you are addicted to Adderall, the chances are that you’ll start overdosing to get the desired effects. With time your body builds tolerance, and you have no option but to quit the medicine or use it more to feel relaxed and focused. Symptoms of Adderall overdose include.
- Abdominal cramps
- Rapid breathing
- High fever
- Irregular heartbeat
- High or low blood pressure
- Circulatory collapse
- Overactive reflexes
Withdrawal Symptoms of Adderall
If you misuse this drug and developer a physiological dependence on it, you’ll face withdrawal symptoms once you quit using this medicine. These symptoms will start showing within two to three days after you quit, and they can last up to three to four weeks. However, it is not necessary to face these symptoms; instead, you can tell your doctor and use other medications to reduce their intensity. What you need to worry about is relapse, so it is better to consult your doctor for close patient monitoring to manage any medical and mental health issues.
These are the common symptoms you’ll feel after quitting Adderall:
- Lack of pleasure
- Insomnia or sleeping more than normal
- Vivid dreams
- Increased appetite
- Slowed movements
- Slowed heart rate
If you experience any of these issues after quitting this drug, get medical assistance immediately before more symptoms start to kick in.
How To Get Adderall Out of Your System?
Adderall is an excellent medicine to reduce the symptoms of ADHD if you use it with precautions. Since it is a drug, it will leave some traces in your system, but how long does Adderall stay in your system? On average, it takes around three days for Adderall to leave via your urine after the last use. However, it can vary based on your age, weight, how much you took, your body composition, how long you have been taking it, and how well your liver and kidneys are. You can improve the elimination time by drinking plenty of water and keeping your organs healthy.
On the other hand, it might take months or even years to leave your body if you misuse it. We highly recommend getting professional medical advice before you use this drug as it can cause adverse side effects if you don’t follow the proper dosage. Even better, take this medication in a controlled environment, so your doctors can monitor the results and let you know properly about the dosage and everything.