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  #1  
Old 03-23-09, 08:59 PM
yoonjb yoonjb is offline
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How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

I've been really frustrated I can't find a reputable source on how long Adderall IR (the instant release that's available in both brand-name and generic forms) lasts. My doctor said 8-10 hours but most people seem to say 3-4 hours.

I get up at 6:30 am and go to bed at 11:00 pm, and I need the medication from 7:00-11:00 pm, that's a time period of 16 hours. If the medication lasts only for 3-4 hours, then I'll need to take the medication 4 times a day...

So do I really need it only twice a day, as it's prescribed now, or do I need it 4 times a day?? Thanks!
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Old 03-23-09, 09:07 PM
Scarletta Scarletta is offline
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

A dose of Adderall IR's effects last about 4-6 hours.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:56 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

IR medication is definitely not supposed to last 8-10 hours. Your doc must have been talking about XR. Usually, a dose of Adderall IR lasts 4-6 hours, like Scarletta said. Some people can feel it wearing off after 3 hours, while some people can get 6.5 hours out of it. I can usually get 4-5 hours from one dose, provided I'm getting enough sleep at night.

Even if you're awake from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, do you really need full coverage from your meds that whole time? It's usually best to let yourself wind down for about 2 hours before you go to bed, so if your last dose wears off around 9:00 or 9:30, that would be fine. And in the morning, you probably don't need the meds to kick in until you start work or school, so time your first dose about 45 minutes before the start of work or school.

Like, I have a really long day because my commute to work is 1.5 hours each way. So I wake up at 5:30, leave the house at 6:15, and arrive at work at 7:45. I don't take my first dose until 7:15, which is usually when I arrive at the metro. Then I have a 30-minute metro ride, which gives my meds time to kick in. By the time I get to work, I'm just starting to feel it. After all, I really don't need my meds when I'm just getting dressed and driving to the metro.

You might need 3 doses a day (many people take 2 regular doses and then a 3rd smaller dose later in the day, so it doesn't keep them awake at night), but it's not likely that you'd need 4 doses every day.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:23 PM
yoonjb yoonjb is offline
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

I see! Thanks a lot for the quick response.

Are the following "symptoms" normal for a person who has ADHD (hyperactive and impulsive AND inattention)
-it's really easy for me to focus when I'm in class and listening to lecture (but I MUST be sitting near the front)
-on the other hand, it's really hard to focus when I am by myself trying to study/do my homework

I think this is why I didn't find out about my ADHD until so late. I have an IQ in the range of ~155 (155 deviation, 170 ratio), so school came pretty naturally to me. I struggled mightily with getting homework, essays, projects done but I had virtually no problems when I was PHYSICALLY in school... I think it's because I needed external stimulation in order to focus - if the external source of stimulation goes away (being by myself), THEN my ADHD symptoms start to show up and I can't concentrate (is this normal?) Because I didn't really show ADHD symptoms in the classroom, ADHD was never suspected. Even worse, because I was so physically active/played lots of sports growing up, my hyperactivity and inattention was all manifested outside the classroom during recess and after school activities/sports, so when I was inside the classroom, my energies were already "expended" and I calmed down. (When I didn't exercise/play sports, there was a definite spike in ADHD symptoms and vice versa; exercise isn't a cure for me, but it helps tremendously!!)

In other words, ADHD symptoms showed in the classroom ONLY when I didn't play sports/wasn't active outside the classroom, but ADHD symptoms ALWAYS were there outside school (when doing homework, at home, etc.) Seems like I need the medication only when I'm outside class. =))

Does everything that I have described above seem within the normal range for ADHD?

Also a question: are people with ADHD (both hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention) more extroverted? Or is the extroversion-introversion dimension independent of whether one has ADHD? Sometimes, it seems to be that ADHD is pathological extroversion...
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Old 03-24-09, 03:49 AM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

I get a whole day out of one 10mg IR dose in the morning. Its obviously worn off by about 5 hours into the day, but it leaves behind residual effects that keep me going for the rest of the day.

I workout everyday so I have to be careful about my heart rate approaching my max HR when I go for runs so I don't redose during the day. But exercise can help it last longer, so will eating healthy, having plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates in your diet, etc.
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Old 03-24-09, 06:48 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

yoonjb, all of that sounds normal for someone with ADHD. When you're in class, the teacher and your seat near the front force you to sit still and pay attention, so it makes sense that your symptoms are easier to control in class. And when you're alone, there's nothing to direct your thoughts, so of course your mind wanders. A lot of ADHD people can't study or do their homework unless they have music playing or the TV on in the background. Like you said, they need external stimulation to help them focus. It kind of blocks out the racing thoughts.

I think people with ADHD tend to be more extroverted (it's hard not to be when you're bouncing off the walls, lol) but people with inattentive ADD tend to be more introverted (since they're usually daydreaming, lost in their own thoughts). I can only use myself as an example, but I'm 100% inattentive type, and I'm definitely an introvert. I'm perfectly fine socially; no one would describe me as shy. But I'm quiet and reserved, not effusive like many ADHD people are. You're a combination type, but many combo people lean more towards the hyperactive side. Or maybe the hyperactive symptoms are just more obvious and harder to control.
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Old 03-25-09, 11:07 AM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

I take IR four times a day - roughly at 6 a.m., 10, 2 and 5 or 5:30. It tends to become less effective as the day goes on, at least for me, so that's why the last doses are closer together. I go to bed pretty early and it's just wearing off at that point.

I think "they" say it will last up to 6 hours, but 3 1/2 to 4 is much more common, from what I've gathered.

Not everyone needs it all day long, it just depends on how you were functioning in different areas of your life before. For me, everything was mess - work, housework, creative pursuits, even just pure leisure time. Basically my symptoms were so severe I wasn't functioning well in any area, thus the morning till bedtime med schedule. Thankfully my doc understood this and is supportive of me taking it four times a day. If I stayed up later I'd probably need even one more dose, but I am fanatical about getting 8 or 9 hours a night.
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Old 12-02-10, 09:44 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

There's no need to take four every day. Your doctor is referring to a more broad time period. I sometimes consider spacing my dose 8-10 hours, the dose tends to linger depending on stomach conditions and tolerance. Usually, the peak comes about 2.5 hours into the pill.

I found that the ideal situation is to find a good 2x daily IR dose. I take 15mg twice daily, usually never passed 3pm, latest 4pm on occasion. I have night classes, but I got over the urge to save my 2nd dose.

Remember, amphetamines are addicting. They ***** you up, lol. I don't even like to take more than im prescribed anymore, I am content with this dose for now and I don't want to go higher. Do what I did. Try increasing your morning and afternoon dose 5mg each day and find a dose that works best for you, the lower the better, tho I assume if you were prone to abuse you'd do it anyhow. I feel like I am legally addicted, absent being the image of a drug addict. Trust me, don't take 4. If you start, you may not be able to lower in the future.
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Old 12-03-10, 12:29 AM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

You won't like the answer:
Various, factors (some small some large) include:

Sex, weight, previous adderall/stimulant usage, route of administration, body mass, general health, blood ph, stomach acidity and contents (if RoA is oral), other drugs or supplements, body's signature dopamine levels among other chemicals.

Try it. Measure it. Its never the same.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:10 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naussicaa View Post
You won't like the answer:
Various, factors (some small some large) include:

Sex, weight, previous adderall/stimulant usage, route of administration, body mass, general health, blood ph, stomach acidity and contents (if RoA is oral), other drugs or supplements, body's signature dopamine levels among other chemicals.

Try it. Measure it. Its never the same.
This is 100% on the money! Each of us are unique, there is no simple answer. I've been on adderall 20mg IR x3 per day for a few years and some days it works like it did the first time I ever took it... on other days it can seem almost useless. It still beats life without it!
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Old 12-06-10, 09:55 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

I'm the same way as you, yoonjb (I say that way too much on this forum!). I excelled in school up to my sophomore year in high school because of my high IQ and ability to beat the system that is U.S. public schooling. Once I started taking college level classes I slipped. Things like reading and taking notes were torture, and no matter how long I spent on stuff I didn't retain anything. I saw a psych and got diagnosed by my regular doc between sophomore and junior years.

I took ritalin and I now take adderall. I need the medication for just as long as you need it - from 7am to around 10pm or sometimes the wee-hours of the next morning. I take an XR in the morning and an IR booster in the afternoon/evening. I enjoy taking the XR a bit later because it doesn't last as long as it should. The IR is a tossup, sometimes it lasts all afternoon/night, and sometimes it doesn't work at all (even after I take two within a couple hours). I personally like to take caffeine with my meds (even though it's ill-advised) because I believe it keeps me from taking too much. By this I mean that it gives me more energy AND the focus, which assures my mind that I don't need to take any more. It's odd, but it works.

The one thing I can always count on, no matter the effectiveness of the IR, is that i'll be tossing around my bed for a couple hours before I fall asleep. I think it's my anxiety rather than the meds, but without fail I'll be listening to my heartbeat for quite a while before actually drifting off.
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Old 12-07-10, 01:49 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

Another question nobody can answer. Above a certain concentration, the effects of the drug will cross your therapeutic threshold and you will feel alert and focused. For me a 20mg dose lasts 8 hours, 15 mg dose lasts 5 hours, 10mg dose lasts 1 hour and less then 10mg I don't feel any improvement at all. If I take 100mg at once the effects will last for 2 days.

Bottom line, it depends on each individual. However, IF you are prescribed the right amount, which is rarely the case, you should remain focused and working for 7 hours.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:51 PM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoonjb View Post
I see! Thanks a lot for the quick response.

Are the following "symptoms" normal for a person who has ADHD (hyperactive and impulsive AND inattention)
-it's really easy for me to focus when I'm in class and listening to lecture (but I MUST be sitting near the front)
-on the other hand, it's really hard to focus when I am by myself trying to study/do my homework

I think this is why I didn't find out about my ADHD until so late. I have an IQ in the range of ~155 (155 deviation, 170 ratio), so school came pretty naturally to me. I struggled mightily with getting homework, essays, projects done but I had virtually no problems when I was PHYSICALLY in school... I think it's because I needed external stimulation in order to focus - if the external source of stimulation goes away (being by myself), THEN my ADHD symptoms start to show up and I can't concentrate (is this normal?) Because I didn't really show ADHD symptoms in the classroom, ADHD was never suspected. Even worse, because I was so physically active/played lots of sports growing up, my hyperactivity and inattention was all manifested outside the classroom during recess and after school activities/sports, so when I was inside the classroom, my energies were already "expended" and I calmed down. (When I didn't exercise/play sports, there was a definite spike in ADHD symptoms and vice versa; exercise isn't a cure for me, but it helps tremendously!!)

In other words, ADHD symptoms showed in the classroom ONLY when I didn't play sports/wasn't active outside the classroom, but ADHD symptoms ALWAYS were there outside school (when doing homework, at home, etc.) Seems like I need the medication only when I'm outside class. =))

Does everything that I have described above seem within the normal range for ADHD?

Also a question: are people with ADHD (both hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention) more extroverted? Or is the extroversion-introversion dimension independent of whether one has ADHD? Sometimes, it seems to be that ADHD is pathological extroversion...
I am guessing that you are lot like me, and I wondered the same thing. During college, I barely attended class, did only a fraction of the homework, and hardly ever studied. The only times when I felt that I was actually studying to my potential was when I was either physically exhausted, or stressed beyond belief right before tests or finals when it became clear how much I had slacked off. I would always get A's on the tests, but homework, and lab grades would always consistently drag me down. Luckily, thanks to the MCAT, I was still able to make it into medical school.

This is when I finally decided to get tested for Adhd and got prescribed Adderall IR 20mg BID or two times a day. Ever since then i feel like i can reach my potential without having to be physically drained, or stressed, although each day in medical school seems to have the stress of finals week in college haha.

I have been playing around with the meds, and tried to see what works best for me, at the suggestion of my psychiatrist. I just got my dose upped to three times a day. For me, i am really able to feel the effects in the afternoons, after my second dose, but the first dose does not seem to be as effective. I think i am going to start taking 30mg in the morning, twenty at noon, and 10 booster at around 4.

My theory on the extraversion that seems to go along with adhd patients is that the extraversion is merely a side effect of the need for constant stimulus, and many times people are the only sources of stimulus present, so adhd patients grow up learning how to involve others to be a source of stimulus.

I know your post was a long time ago, but i hope this helps. i kinda wish i had started the medication back in college, but at the same time, i like being adhd and random, and sometimes i feel like i can't be while on the meds, so i think it is only when your methods of compensation are not able to keep up with the tasks that you need to complete that you need medication. I would suggest only 2 dosages of IR to people unless you are doing 12-14 hour work days each day, like I am.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-30-11, 08:02 AM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

Yes, 4 times a day is the normal dosage for adderall
That is, of course, if it is not xr! Hope that helps
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Old 01-30-11, 08:27 AM
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Re: How long does Adderall IR last? Tried SO many sources

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pillwizard302 View Post
Yes, 4 times a day is the normal dosage for adderall
That is, of course, if it is not xr! Hope that helps
Most I've seen is 3x IR.
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