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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18459
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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How do u calculate half life of a medication In an easy

Resolved Question:

How do u calculate "half life" of a medication? In an easy example... Such as Prozac.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Calculating a half life requires measuring the level of the drug at two different points in time. It needs to be far enough after the dose of the medicine that there is no further absorption of the drug to confuse the assessment. The calculation requires calculation of logarithmic values to the base of 2 (log2).


The formula for calculation of half-life (T1/2) requires the knowledge of the initial concentration (C1), and the subsequent concentration (C2) obtained an amount of time later (t). The formula is:


T1/2 = t / [log2(C1/C2)]


Today, there are computer programs that will allow the numbers to be plugged in and the half-life result returned. It is also possible to build the formula in Excel, since Excel includes a logarithmic function key to the desired base number.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I nerd an example please of a psychtropic medication
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

The process and formula for calculating half-life is the same, regardless of whether it is a psychotropic or other medicine. For example, Prozac has a very long half-life, ranging from 4-16 days, so relatively little is metabolized over the course of a day. The baseline level has to be taken well after the daily dose, such as 8 hours later. A representative level is 200 ng/ml. A repeat level is checked before the next days dose, 16 hours later, and may be 180 ng/ml. Using the above formula, the half-life for this person would be slightly over 105 hours, or 4.4 days.


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