Application of Half-life Extended Drug in Depression

For Research Use Only. Not for Clinical Use.

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Introduction of Depression

Depression is a significant public health problem that severely limits psychosocial function and reduces the quality of life. As a result, depression might lead to a high economic burden for society. The common symptoms of depression include a long-lasting depressed mood, feelings of guilt, anxiety, and recurrent thoughts of death and suicide. Approximately 16% of the population is estimated to be affected by major depression one or more times during their lifetime. In addition to genetic factors, various non-genetic factors such as stress, emotional trauma, viral infections, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities can also increase the complexity of the pathogenesis of depression. In addition, depressive disorders also significantly influence the outcome of comorbid medical illnesses such as cardiac diseases, diabetes, and cancer. In practice, its detection and management often pose challenges for clinicians. As mentioned above, depression is a very serious health problem.

Cardinal symptoms of depression. Fig.1 Cardinal symptoms of depression. (JÃnior, 2015)

Drugs for Depression

Although depression is difficult to manage, it usually responds well to medication. Knowledge of the pharmacokinetic properties of metabolic pathways and the elimination half-life of the drug assists in the design of effective drug therapy. The half-life is the most important factor for the elimination of drugs. To maintain therapeutic effects, drugs that suffer from a short half-life usually need multiple daily doses. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most prescribed antidepressants. Although SSRIs have different structural features, their functions to inhibit presynaptic neuronal reuptake in the brain are the same. Citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline are the most common SSRIs. Among the SSRIs, fluoxetine has the longest half-life.

Benefits of Extended Half-Life Drugs

It was well known that sudden discontinuation of relatively short biologic half-life drugs may lead to obvious sequelae, such as headache, muscle pain and mood disturbances suggestive of recurrent depression. Fluoxetine is currently recognized among clinicians as efficacious in treating depression by reducing the need for physician contact and reducing premature patient discontinuation. The extended half-life of fluoxetine is rarely associated with such withdrawal symptoms, and it can protect against the breakthrough of symptoms of depression during missed doses over periods of a few days. Moreover, compared with the shortest half-life antidepressants, fluoxetine also has the same onset rate of therapeutic effect.

This preventive effect against withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation of fluoxetine is related to the unique extended half-life of this antidepressant. Creative Biolabs has established advanced half-life extended platforms with professional knowledge and rich research experiences and is equipped to offer effective services to assist your projects. Please feel free to contact us for more information.


  1. JÃnior, C. R. P. G.; et al. Childhood depression as emerging public health problem: a systematic review. International Archives of Medicine. 2015: 8.
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For Research Use Only. Not for Clinical Use.