Can You Use Adderall That Has Gotten Wet?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses safety concerns regarding the use of Adderall which has been exposed to water.

Question

My Adderall got washed in a washer and they aren't powder form anymore and are a little gooey. My dad knew they were in my shorts in the bag I keep them in. He got them out before the washer was done. The powder does not smell like soap but the bag does. Is it okay to take?

Asked by CJW On Nov 28, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Nov 28, 2022
Last updated Nov 28, 2022

Key points

  • Adderall tablets that have gotten wet generally shouldn't be used as they may not be as effective as they once were.
  • In addition to the tablet integrity being compromised, the drug may no longer be stable and break down more quickly than usual.

Answer

It's probably best not to use wet Adderall (amphetamine salts) tablets as there is a good chance they may not be as effective as they once were.

There are likely a few things that could go wrong with the drug being exposed to liquid. This includes:

  • Some of the active drug may have dissolved in whatever liquid it was exposed to, leading to a loss in potency.
  • The tablets likely have lost some integrity, making them easier to crumble/break apart.
  • Many drugs aren't stable in liquid and could break down more quickly over time.

Proper storage of Adderall

The recommendation per the manufacturer is to store Adderall tablets away from moisture and in a moisture-resistant container. Exposure to moisture not only affects tablet integrity but can cause inconsistent dosing.

'Store Adderall at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep Adderall out of the reach of children and away from pets." 

Moisture most likely has affected the integrity of the tablets and has caused them to become gelatinous or "gooey" as you describe.

The main concern with taking these tablets is that you most likely won't be ingesting the full dose of the medication (due to partial loss of the tablet contents). This could cause you to not receive the desired effect from the drug.

In addition, exposing medication to moisture could cause premature breakdown of the actual drug, as well as the physical tablets. Many drugs are not stable in solution, or when exposed to moisture.

Final Words

To summarize:

  • Exposing tablets to moisture can cause premature breakdown and damage tablet integrity. This may result in a loss of tablet contents, potentially causing inconsistent dosing.
  • Medications may become less stable and begin to break down when exposed to moisture or are in solution. This too can affect the dose you are receiving from these damaged tablets.

Lastly, it would be very difficult to know if the tablets were contaminated with soap/detergents from the wash. The chemicals in laundry soap aren't intended for ingestion. It would be prudent to be on the safe side and not ingest the tablets.

It is important to reach out to your doctor to see if you can get a replacement prescription for your destroyed Adderall.

They may require that you bring the remaining Adderall to the office to confirm that they are unusable. Lastly, check with your insurance to see if they cover damaged medication.

Thanks for reaching out and please do so again anytime!

References

  • Adderall Prescribing Information, AccessFDA
  • Amphetamine Monograph, PubChem
  • Stability of Adderall in extemporaneously compounded oral liquids, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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