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Does Adderall Expire? A Detailed Guide to Expiration Dates & Abuse Prevention

by Demarco Moore

July 27, 2023
an older man takes adderall to manage his narcolepsy. He checks for an expiration date to avoid misuse.

Does Adderall Expire?

Yes, like most medications, Adderall does expire. But what does this mean, and is it still safe to use? This blog answers these questions. But first, let’s understand what Adderall is and why it’s prescribed. 

Key blog points to remember:

  • Adderall is a prescription stimulant for treating ADHD and narcolepsy, but misuse can lead to addiction.
  • Although Adderall does expire, its strength may decrease rather than the drug becoming harmful.
  • Proper Adderall storage can extend its usefulness.
  • Expired Adderall should be disposed of according to the FDA guidelines.

What is Adderall, and Why is It Prescribed?

Adderall is an FDA-approved prescription medication for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (sleep problems). It combines two central nervous stimulant (CNS) drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.  Adderall increases certain chemicals in the brain, improving a user’s focus, attention, and impulse control.

Unfortunately, Adderall misuse is common, especially among students and young adults who use it as a “study drug” to enhance focus and stamina. Overusing or misusing Adderall can lead to addiction.

Related Story: Am I Addicted To Adderall?

Understanding Why Drugs Expire

Drug expiration dates show the last day the manufacturer guarantees the medication’s full strength and safety. Drug manufacturers determine these dates through stability testing. It’s important to understand that expired medicines could be harmful, as their usefulness might have lowered.

How to Know Adderall Has Expired

If you have Adderall and want to check its expiration date, you can usually find it printed on the prescription bottle label or the packaging. If you can’t find it or the date has rubbed off, it’s best not to take a chance; consider the medication expired.

The Risks of Taking Expired Adderall

The major worry about expired Adderall is that it may lose its effectiveness. As Adderall ages, its chemicals can break down, lowering its potency. So, if you depend on Adderall to manage your ADHD or narcolepsy symptoms, using expired medication could result in negative results. While taking certain medications beyond their expiration date can occasionally lead to negative health effects, this is rare, particularly with Adderall.

How to Properly and Safely Store Adderall

Proper storage can help maintain Adderall’s full strength. Here are steps to accomplish this:

  1. Find a suitable place: It’s best to store your Adderallin in a cool, dry, and ventilated area, like a kitchen cabinet or linen closet.
  2. Keep it away from kids: The chosen location should be out of reach to prevent accidental consumption.
  3. Stay away from humid areas: Don’t store your Adderall in high-humidity areas like the bathroom. 
  4. Guard against moisture: Always keep your Adderall in its original packaging to prevent exposure to moisture, which can cause the medication to break down and lose strength.

What to Do with Expired Adderall

If you have expired Adderall, don’t just throw it in the trash. Improper disposal can lead to unintentional use or potential environmental harm. Instead, follow the FDA’s guidelines on medicine disposal or take it to a local drug take-back event.

Seeking Professional Help for Adderall Addiction

While we’ve focused on the safety and potency of expired Adderall, it’s crucial to address that misuse of this medication and other stimulant drugs can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one is taking Adderall without a prescription, taking higher doses than prescribed or struggling to stop using it, it’s time to seek professional help.

Overcome Adderall Addiction with Landmark Recovery

At Landmark Recovery, we provide comprehensive treatment programs tailored to every person’s unique needs. Whether drug detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, or residential treatment, our treatment experts partner with you to help you overcome Adderall addiction and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Our confidential admissions line is available 24/7/365. Call our Patient Navigators today at 888-448-0302.

Find Drug Rehab Nearby

Finding the right help should be easy. To achieve this, we’ve opened alcohol and drug rehab centers in multiple states across the U.S., including:

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About the Author

Demarco Moore

Demarco Moore

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Demarco Moore currently writes blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery. Before that, he cut his teeth as a sports writer at the Manchester Times, where his coverage and stories won Tennessee Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017.

He’s always had a knack for storytelling. Moore’s written content for junior golf tournaments and helped to amplify the “People Not Profits” message of credit unions. When he’s not writing, Moore loves to travel, laugh and put his mental health into the hands of the Tennessee Titans during football season.