Half-Life is the time required for half the amount of a medication to be eliminated or disintegrated by natural processes.
When discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders, we sometimes discuss half-life in determining how long a medication stays in the body to help determine issues such as how soon after taking a mediation can different medication be used safely or how a nursing mother safely breastfeed without passing medication on to their infant. After five half-lives, 99 of a medication has cleared the body.
Half-life also sometimes helps us choose a medication. For example: Some people do better with Amerge or Frova because they have longer half-lives than the other triptans.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.