Testing for the drug Adderall in the body can be done in various ways. Depending on the test used, it may take just under 2 days or up to 3 months for Adderall to stop showing up on results.

Adderall is a stimulant drug. It’s typically prescribed to help improve symptoms of ADHD, such as attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. Adderall may also be prescribed to treat some sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy. It may also be used off-label for severe depression.

When taken as intended, Adderall helps 70% to 80% of children and 70% of adults manage ADHD. However, Adderall has a high potential for misuse. It may be used by people who don’t have a doctor’s prescription to increase attention and focus.

Read on to find out how long this medicine typically stays in your system, as well as how it works and potential side effects.

Adderall is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It’s then metabolized (broken down) by your liver and leaves your body through your urine.

Although Adderall is eliminated through urine, it works throughout the body, so it can be detected in several different ways as outlined below.


Adderall can be detected by a blood test up to 46 hours after last use. Blood tests can detect Adderall most quickly after it’s been used.


Adderall can be detected in your urine for 72 to 96 hours after last use. This test will usually show a higher concentration of Adderall than other drug tests, because Adderall is eliminated through urine.


Adderall can be detected in saliva 20 to 50 hours after last use.


Drug testing using hair is not a common method of testing, but it can detect Adderall for up to 3 months after last use.


  • Blood: detectable up to 46 hours after use
  • Urine: detectable for 72 to 96 hours after use
  • Saliva: detectable for 20 to 50 hours after use
  • Hair: may be detected up to 3 months after use
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Different people’s bodies metabolize — break down and eliminate — Adderall at different speeds. The length of time that Adderall stays in your body before it’s metabolized can be affected by a variety of different factors.

Body composition

Your body composition — including your overall weight, how much body fat you have, and height — can affect how long Adderall stays in your system. This is partly because larger people usually need larger medication doses, which means the medication takes longer to leave their body.

However, there’s some evidence that after you take into account the dose according to body weight, drugs like Adderall, which are metabolized by a certain liver pathway, clear from the body faster in people who weigh more or have more body fat.


Everyone has enzymes in their liver that metabolize, or break down, drugs like Adderall. Your rate of metabolism can be affected by everything from your activity level to your sex at birth to other medications you take.

Your metabolism affects how long a drug stays in your body; the faster it’s metabolized, the faster it will leave your body.


Adderall is available in a variety of strengths, ranging from 5 mg to 30 mg tablets or capsules. The higher the dose of Adderall, the longer it can take for your body to fully metabolize it. Therefore, higher doses will stay in your body for longer.

Adderall also comes in both immediate- and extended-release versions, which dissolve in the body at different speeds. This can affect how long the medication stays in your system.

How long does 10 mg Adderall stay in your system?

The immediate-release version of Adderall typically lasts for 4 to 6 hours per dose. The extended-release version of Adderall is typically taken in the morning and lasts all day.

However, the exact dose taken can impact the length of time Adderall stays in your system over time. Generally speaking, the lower the dose, the faster it may clear from the body.


As you get older, it can take longer for medications to leave your system. This is due to several reasons.

  • The size of your liver decreases as you age, which means it can take longer for your liver to fully break down Adderall.
  • Output of urine decreases with age. Kidney function may also decrease as a result of age-related conditions, such as heart disease. Both these factors can cause medications to stay in your body for longer.
  • Your body composition changes as you get older, which can lead to changes in how fast your body breaks down and gets rid of medications.

Organ function

Adderall is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, then metabolized by the liver and flushed out by the kidneys. If any of these organs or systems is not functioning properly, it can take longer for Adderall to leave your body.

It may seem counterintuitive, but Adderall works by stimulating the central nervous system.

It’s believed that people who have ADHD don’t have sufficient dopamine in their frontal lobe, which is the brain’s “reward center.” Because of this, they may be prone to seeking stimulation and the positive feeling that comes with dopamine in the frontal lobe. This can cause them to engage in impulsive or thrill-seeking behavior, or get distracted easily.

By stimulating the central nervous system, Adderall increases how much dopamine is available in the frontal lobe. This helps people with ADHD to stop seeking stimulation that, in turn, helps them focus better.

Medication is usually just one part of an overall ADHD treatment plan, along with behavioral therapy, education and organizational support, and other lifestyle methods.

Does Adderall build up in your system?

When taking Adderall at high doses over long periods of time, your body can build up a tolerance to the drug. If you’re taking Adderall to treat ADHD symptoms, it may feel as if the drug is no longer working, or has become less effective. Your doctor may recommend a small increase in dosage if needed.

However, tolerance may also be a sign of a substance use disorder, particularly in those who are taking the drug recreationally.

Taking too much Adderall can cause both mild and serious side effects, including:

In addition, your body can become dependent on Adderall if you take too much of it. When you try to stop using it, you can go into withdrawal. Besides having cravings for Adderall, other withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • agitation
  • depression
  • sleeping issues, including insomnia or sleeping more than normal; you may also have vivid dreams
  • increased appetite
  • slowed movements
  • slowed heart rate

These symptoms can last for up to 2 or 3 weeks.

Many amphetamines, including Adderall, have the potential to be misused. In some cases, people who don’t have a prescription may take Adderall to try to improve their focus or to stay up for long periods of time.

It’s estimated that up to 20% of college students misuse stimulants like Adderall.

A review of studies found that approximately 17% of college students reported misusing stimulants, including Adderall.

When Adderall is taken as intended, the effects of the medication can be positive. But for people without ADHD, who use the drug without medical supervision, the effects can be dangerous.

Even if you have a prescription, it’s possible to misuse Adderall by taking too much of it, or taking it in a way that wasn’t prescribed.

What does Adderall test positive for?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug that contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. On a drug test, these ingredients may test positive for certain illegal drugs, including:

  • methamphetamine (meth)
  • methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)

In some cases, taking Adderall may lead to a false positive drug test. However, Adderall does’t always test positive for these other drugs.

The length of time Adderall stays in your system depends on many factors, including dosage, rate of metabolism, age, organ function, and other factors. It’s important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about Adderall.