The duration of action of a drug is known as its half life. This is the period of time required for the concentration or amount of drug in the body to be reduced by one-half. We usually consider the half life of a drug in relation to the amount of the drug in plasma. A drug's plasma half-life depends on how quickly the drug is eliminated from the plasma. A drug molecule that leaves plasma may have any of several fates. It can be eliminated from the body, or it can be translocated to another body fluid compartment such as the intracellular fluid or it can be destroyed in the blood. The removal of a drug from the plasma is known as clearance and the distribution of the drug in the various body tissues is known as the volume of distribution. Both of these pharmacokinetic parameters are important in determining the half life of a drug.

Here is the symbol to represent the half-life: