How Long Does Adderall Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4 to 6 Hours

Adderall is a prescription medication that is extremely addictive and abused frequently. It is one of the most widely prescribed stimulant medications to treat ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy (sudden daytime sleeping). It changes some of the substances naturally occurring in the brain and helps in increasing focus, allowing people with ADHD to ameliorate their concentration abilities. It can also help one with organization and time management by improving focus.

Overuse of Adderall can negatively impact the overall health of a person. The use of Adderall for a prolonged duration than prescribed makes the person dependent on it, which can later turn into an aggressive addiction.

How Long Does Adderall Last?

Variants Of AdderallDuration
The immediate-release version of Adderall4 – 6 hours
The extended-release version of Adderall
(Adderall XR)
10 – 12 hours

How quickly the user feels the effects and how long Adderall lasts varies from person to person. A person’s tolerance level plays a big part in determining the duration of the longevity of any medication.

There are majorly two variants of Adderall – Adderall immediate release and Adderall XR. After taking an Adderall immediate-release tablet, one typically feels the effect kicking in at about 30 to 60 minutes. The peak effects occur in 2 – 3 hours after taking the tablet and in total, one could feel the effect lasting for around 4 – 6 hours.

On the other hand, Adderall XR, the extended-release variant dissolves more gradually inside the body. Its effect starts kicking in about half an hour but the peak effects occur 4 – 7 hours after use. In total, its effect can last up to 12 hours. Thus, it is not recommended to take an Adderall XR tablet more than once in 24 hours to reduce the risk of a drug overdose.

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However, the duration for which Adderall is detectable in the system varies widely. It can be detected in the urine for 72 – 96 hours after last use and in saliva for 20 – 25 hours. It can be seen in blood for up to 46 hours and hair for up to 3 months.

Why Does Adderall Last So Long?

Several variables affect the duration of how long can Adderall last. The effects can be different depending on the person’s drug tolerance, weight, height, sleeping pattern, age, stomach content before and after taking the drug, etc.

After taking Adderall, many users feel effects such as extremely high energy, high excitement, increased alertness levels, and having laser-sharp concentration. This is the reason why this drug is prescribed for ADHD patients. Some people also experience euphoric effects which is why they use it as a recreational drug, in addition to being a performance-enhancer.

When users start taking this drug to function in their day-to-day lives, they become dependent on it as it gives a false sense of security that one can handle anything and any difficulty even without food or sleep. This is the first sign that such people are heading toward the path of substance abuse and addiction.

When one takes a drug regularly, their tolerance for that same drug increases. This means that due to regular consum[tion of Adderall, one would need a higher dose to experience the same effects of the medication as before. Taking higher doses in a shorter period can result in a drug overdose.

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When Adderall is used for longer than it is prescribed it can result in several side effects such as anxiety, irritability, restlessness, headache, increased blood pressure, etc. Long-term heavy use can also lead to serious problems with the brain.

Conclusion

When taken as prescribed, the effects of Adderall last for 4 to 8 hours while that of Adderall XR lasts for up to 12 hours as the latter is designed for slow and sustained release which makes it last longer.

The positive effects of Adderall are meant to last only during the day. However, there are many other adverse effects such as dizziness, racing heart, etc that one might experience with its prolonged usage.

It is highly advised that one should never take a larger dose of Adderall than recommended by the doctor. Frequent doses should be avoided as they can risk an overdose. One must refrain from taking Adderall if it is not prescribed to them.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/11539410-000000000-00000
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/104/6/1300.short
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