The Food and Drug Administration has approved Adderall for only one primary purpose, and that is for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Nevertheless, studies and reports have shown that it has the potential to treat other diseases such as Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

The drug has also been shown to enhance the performance of its users in various ways such as improved mental cognition, memory, alertness, and increased level of initiative. Furthermore, some athletes have used the drug to improve the physical performance such as muscle strength, endurance, and acceleration.

How Long Does Adderall Last?

The elimination half-life of a drug determines the length of times it takes for a drug to be metabolized by a person’s body. The half-life often shows this length of time in hours. It helps doctors and pharmacists determine the dosing interval of the drugs they prescribe. However, the elimination half-life does not determine the length of time a drug will affect you. (1)

Dextroamphetamine, a derivative of amphetamine, is one of the main ingredients of Adderall. According to studies, it has an elimination half-life of around 9-11 hours. Hence, we can conclude that it would take an average of 3-4 days before the drug is virtually undetectable.

Additionally, according to studies, the instant-release version of Adderall maintains its effectiveness 3-6 hours from dosing. On the other hand, the extended-release version can affect a person for as long as 12 hours. (2)

Factors That Affect Adderall’s Half Life

There is no definite length of time Adderall will stay in your system. It can be affected by various existing factors both in within you and around you. Listed below are some of the variables you need to take into account in determining Adderall’s half-life:

  • Drug Dosage
  • Age: The flushing out of Adderall in the body is slower for older individuals than younger people.
  • Height, Weight, and Fat: Studies have shown that a person’s body volume can affect the length of time a particular drug will stay in their body. The reason for this is that more mass means the drug can bind to more tissues. (3)
  • Liver and Kidney Functions: The live and kidney are the primary organs that help metabolize drugs in the body. Hence, the healthier they are, the faster the drug will be eliminated.
  • Metabolic Rate: The higher the metabolic rate, the quicker the drugs can leave the body.

Adderall Drug Tests And Its Elimination

The Food and Drug Administration has placed Adderall under Schedule II. This was because it has a high potential for addiction and abuse. Furthermore, they placed strict regulations on the drug to prevent people from abusing it. Hence, getting caught with amphetamine in your body without any prescriptions can get you in legal trouble.

Many sports authorities have also placed a ban on non-medical uses of Adderall. They are also very strict when it comes to testing. Thus, if they catch an athlete with even just a small amount of this drug in their system, it can mean a lengthy suspension or a hefty fine for that athlete.


Stahl SM (March 2017). “Amphetamine (D,L)”. Prescriber’s Guide: Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology (6th ed.). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp. 45–51.

Cheymol, G. (1988). Drug pharmacokinetics in the obese. Fundamental Clinical Pharmacology, 239-56.

HALF-LIFE. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from Sepia: