Wednesday April 1st 2015

How long do amphetamines stay in your system?

How long do amphetamines stay in your system?

Half of the amount of amphetamine that you take is eliminated by your body in under 11 hours (amphetamine elimination half life). But heavy and chronic amphetamine use can be detected in your system up to one week after your last dose. Learn more about how long the effects of amphetamine last, amphetamine detection times and drug testing for amphetamines here.

How do you take amphetamines?

The most common forms of amphetamines are pills, tablets, or capsules, which are swallowed. The less frequent forms, liquid and powder, can be injected or snorted but using this routes of administration increases risk for addiction to amphetamines. This is because getting high on amphetamines increases your risk of mental dependence on them. In fact, although physical dependence on amphetamines is possible, psychological and mental dependence is more frequent and known to increase risk of amphetamine addiction.

What are amphetamines used for?

Medically, amphetamines are prescribed by doctors treating ADD and ADHD. But amphetamines have also been used to treat narcolepsy, have been prescribed as a weight loss medication, and rarely, have been prescribed to treat depression.

Peak levels and half life of amphetamines

The duration of a single dose effect of amphetamines lasts from 2 to 4 hours. Residual effects of amphetamines can last longer. Peak plasma concentrations of amphetamine occur approximately 3 hours post-dose for l-amphetamine. The amphetamine metabolite peaks at 12 hours.

The mean elimination half-life for d-amphetamine is between 9.77-11 hours. Following intravenous injection, however, the mean elimination half-life of the amphetamine metabolite is slightly longer at 12.2 hours.

Amphetamine drug testing

How long do amphetamines stay in the body?  Detection periods for amphetamines vary. This is because rates of metabolism and excretion are different for each drug, each use and vary by individual. Approximations are due to variables such as drug metabolism and half-life, person’s physical condition, fluid intake and method and frequency of use. This is why detection periods for amphetamines should be viewed as estimates. Cases can always be found to contradict these approximations.

In general, amphetamines (including methamphetamine) have a drug and detection period of 1-2 days in urine testing, although some sources claim to be able to detect amphetamines up to 4 days after you take them. Initial testing cutoff concentrations are at 1,000 ng/mL with a confirmation test at 500 ng/mL. Blood concentrations are generally used to distinguish therapeutic use from abuse.

False positive tests for amphetamine

Many “over-the-counter” (OTC) and prescription medicines contain chemicals that are structurally related to amphetamine. These compounds can be identified in the standard amphetamine screening procedures or mistaken for amphetamines. In fact, the Physicians’ Desk Reference provides a list of more than 350 medications that may produce positive test results for amphetamines. If you are taking cough suppressants, antihistamines, antibiotics or other OTC or prescription medications, be sure to report these to drug testing staff. Positive test results for amphetamines can occur and you should be clear about

Amphetamines and addiction

Amphetamines can be very addictive. In fact, large doses and long term use of amphetamines can cause higher tolerance levels and dependence, which lead to addiction. Physical dependence on drugs like Adderall require detox and withdrawal periods (Adderall withdrawal how long?) So how do you know if you have problems with amphetamines or not? Well, if you think that you have a problem, you probably do. Please send us your questions, and we will help you find an answer. Feedback, comments, and experience is also welcomed in the comment section below.

Reference sources: SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocols: Chapter 9, Drug Testing as a Tool
National highway Traffic Saftety Administration fact sheet on methamphetamine (and amphetamine)
FDA fact sheet on Adderall



Photo credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

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4 Responses to “How long do amphetamines stay in your system?
Rae Ferrer
1:48 pm July 20th, 2014

My son has been on adderall for 10 yrs. Had to go cold turkey because of no insurance. It has been 3 wks since he has had these pills. He is still going through classic symptoms that I have read about. He is still on Zoloft for depression. Why is this taking so long? Headaches, tremors, agitation, nausea, sleepiness, “not feeliing good” still seeing mmost of the time. Why?

2:19 am December 1st, 2014

can i get a free home testing kit??for amphetsmines as losing every1 around me as used to use n now always being accused need to sort this urgently as really feeling depressed!!! x

3:53 pm December 9th, 2014

Hi Rachael. Yes, there are home drug testing kits, but you’d have to buy them. There is no such thing as a free home drug testing kit. But, you can talk to a pharmacist or order tests on the internet.

7:12 pm February 1st, 2015

I’ve been taking HCG a liquid diet supplement 3yrs. on and off but yet consistently. I finally abruptly stop taking the diet supplement and I’m having all sorts of withdrawal symptoms anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, shakiness, heart palpitations,insomnia etc… for the last 30 days is there anything I can do, I’ve been prescribed canal for muscle relaxants but it’s not working is there an detox regimen for this?

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