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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Adderall Half-life

09/19/2007

Question:

How long does adderall xr stay in your system?

Answer:

Unlike the other stimulants, the multiple-amphetamine-salt (MAS, Adderall) has quite a variable half-life. The half-life of a medication is the amount of time it takes for half the drug that is in your blood stream to leave your body. Most people seem to feel clinical effects of short acting MAS for 5-51/2 hours and of long acting about twice that. But I have two patients (one adult and one child) who get positive effects for more than 10 hours one one low short acting dose and a few patients who need long acting three times a day.

Please notice I said "clinical effects." You may still get unwanted side effects long past that length of time. Some may be while we can still measure it in your system but others may actually be past that time, such as the problem a small number of folks have sleeping at night even after a small short acting dose in the morning.

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Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati