Patient Expert

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.