Diabetes FAQs

do diabetes test strips expire

by Prof. Chauncey Ziemann Published 10 months ago Updated 7 months ago
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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even specifically warns against using expired diabetes test strips as they might lead to inaccurate results. Most experts maintain that the test strips should be used before the expiration date, which should be found on the strips or the box, in which they arrived.

Is it safe to use expired diabetic test strips?

Using expired diabetic test strips may result to inaccurate readings and will confuse testers. Accurate blood sugar readings is a major part in the success of diabetes management. To ensure that you get an accurate reading, using expired diabetic test strips must be avoided. Diabetic test strips are expensive.

Are diabetes test strips any good after expiration date?

Using test strips that have expired can cause your results to be inaccurate. If your test strips have expired, throw them away and begin using a new vial of strips. The expiration date is printed on every vial of test strips. Thousands of people suffering from erratic blood sugar has been using this ground-breaking solution …

Do diabetic test strips really go bad?

Test strips in open vials should not be used after 6 months. If you think that your strips are inaccurate do not use them. Contact your physician or the test strip manufacturer for advice. It is possible that your manufacturer will replace your expired test strips. Other notes.

How to dispose diabetic test strips?

Test Strip Disposal. Typically people with diabetes dispose of their blood strips in the same waste container as their sharps. Some keep them in a sealed bag and then place them in the sharps container. Brands such as Contour tests strips have instructions inside the package about proper disposal. Check State Disposal Rules

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How long can you use test strips after they expire?

If the test strip container is opened, test strips expire 180 days after opening or by the expiration date printed on the label, whichever is sooner.

What happens if you use expired diabetic test strips?

If you use an expired test strip, are you guaranteed to receive an inaccurate reading? The answer is no, but you are much more likely to receive a faulty reading as the enzyme wears down over time. An expired test strip of two years, for example, is extremely likely to provide an inaccurate result.

Do expired glucose test strips read high or low?

Using test strips that are too old Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that old test strips give inaccurate readings, particularly if they are beyond their expiration date.

How accurate are glucose test strips after expiration date?

It is important for patients not to use test strips beyond the expiration date as LifeScan cannot guarantee the performance of the product and incorrect results could pose a risk to patient health. The FDA also warns patients not to use expired test strips.

What do you do with expired diabetic supplies?

The open unused expired lancets, syringes, pen needles or sensors need to be discarded into your sharps container. If you have full sharps container or you are using a hard plastic container for your used lancets, syringes, pen needles and sensor take them to a safe disposal site near you.

What can cause false high blood sugar readings?

However, various factors such as application errors, extreme environmental conditions, extreme hematocrit values, or medication interferences may potentially falsify blood glucose readings. Incorrect blood glucose readings may lead to treatment errors, for example, incorrect insulin dosing.

Does squeezing the finger affect blood sugar?

On average, blood sugar readings were lower when people put pressure on the finger. The finding, according to the researchers, is in line with advice to avoid firm squeezing of the tested finger.

Why is it important to wipe the first drop of blood?

Some facilities test the first drop of blood. Others require nursing personnel to wipe away the first drop of blood with gauze, and test the second drop. The rationale for wiping away the first drop of blood is that the alcohol in the prep pad, and consequently on the fingertip, may alter values.

Which finger is best for blood sugar test?

Recommended finger: the World Health Organisation recommends the middle or ring fingers are used for blood glucose tests (second and third fingers). You may want to avoid using your little finger due to the skin being thin.

What sugar level is normal for diabetics?

Random Blood Sugar TestResult*A1C TestFasting Blood Sugar TestDiabetes6.5% or above126 mg/dL or abovePrediabetes5.7 – 6.4%100 – 125 mg/dLNormalBelow 5.7%99 mg/dL or below

Why do people offer cash for diabetic test strips?

Since test strips can be expensive, her best guess is that there might be a test-strip market consisting of diabetics who can't afford to see a doctor and don't have medical insurance to cover the cost of strips. As a result, she says, they might be looking for a way to buy strips cheaply.

What is normal blood sugar by age?

From 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults. From 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for children, 13 to 19 years old. From 90 to 180 mg/dL (5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L) for children, 6 to 12 years old. From 100 to 180 mg/dL (5.5 to 10.0 mmol/L) for children under 6 years old.

Can I use expired lancets?

What happens if expired lancets are used? The use of an expired lancet (drum) may cause an infection at the puncture site as the lancet may have lost its sterility. We guarantee 4 years of sterility from the date of sterilisation, so you have plenty of time to use up your lancets.

How do I know if my glucose meter is accurate?

Check your blood sugar level with your meter at the same time that blood is drawn for lab tests, being sure to use a fingerstick sample, not blood from the blood draw. Then compare your meter's reading with the lab results. Results that are within 15% of the lab reading are considered accurate.

What is the use life of the test strips after they have been opened?

180 daysOnce opened, test strips are stable at room temperature for up to 180 days (approximately 6 months) or until the manufacturer's expiration date, whichever comes first.

Can I sell expired test strips?

Yes, there is nothing illegal about selling unused test strips. The second-hand medical supplies market has been around for a long time.

How long can you use expired test strips?

Most strips can be used safely within 1 year of expiration. You should always use discretion if using expired test strips. This was a small study, and a larger-scale trial might give different results. If you are planning to use expired strips, always use control solutions and test for accuracy before use.

What was used to test the accuracy of each strip?

Statistics were used to test the accuracy of each strip.

Can you replace expired test strips?

It is possible that your manufacturer will replace your expired test strips.

Why do enzymes expire?

The activity of enzymes can decrease following exposure to humidity or extreme temperatures . This can alter the accuracy of glucose readings long before a scheduled expiration date. Subsequently, errors can begin to appear with rogue readings of either a high or low nature. Because the enzymes break down , manufacturers therefore place an expiration ...

What are the proteins that make up the end of a strip?

Enzymes, which are proteins made by cells in all living organisms, coat the end of the strip, which is made of plastic. These enzymes are either glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase. The enzyme reacts with the glucose in a person’s blood and converts it into an electrical current.

Can you use a test strip after its expiration date?

Practically, if test strips have been stored properly and avoided damage, they could be used for a small period of time beyond their expiration date. However, you should be prepared for an inaccurate reading. If you know the strip is expired, you take the risk by managing your diabetes based off that result.

Can an expired enzyme strip be inaccurate?

The answer is no, but you are much more likely to receive a faulty reading as the enzyme wears down over time. An expired test strip of two years, for example, is extremely likely to provide an inaccurate result.

Can a diabetic test strip be faulty?

Even if they are confident the strips will display accurate readings for x amount of time, one faulty test strip could lead to a diabetic patient making a management decision that could cost them their lives.

Can you test on Tuesday after strip expiration?

No-one is expected to believe that an expiration date schedule d for a Wednesday will enable to you test accurately on Tuesday, and then not again the day after. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that whether a strip is a day, a week or month expired, you may not be able to observe differentiation in test readings.

Can you use expired test strips?

If you know the strip is expired, you take the risk by managing your diabetes based off that result. To guarantee accuracy, it is best not to use expired test strips.

How Long Are Test Strips Good After You Open The Bottle?

Posted: March, 2012 If you landed on this page, I suggest you go to the beginning to see what affects the accuracy of test strips. In an effort to know how long after you open a test strip bottle they can be used, I called 6 major manufacturers of Glucose Meters. I asked each of them how long their strips are good, after the bottle is first opened. Assuming your are closing the bottle after each use and storing the bottle per the manufacturers directions, here are the results. All the customer service representatives were very helpful and I had no problem getting my questions answered1. OneTouch® - Good for 6 months after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. Accu-Chek® - Good to the expiration date on the bottle. The strips have an 18 month life span and it is estimated that once they arrive at the retailer they have 14 to 16 months left. FreeStyle® - Good until the expiration date on the bottle. Bayer® - Good until the expiration date on the bottle. Agamatrix® - Good for 90 days (three months) after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. Nipro Diagnostics®- Good for 120 days (4 months) after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, which ever comes first. I find it interesting that Agamatrix®, manufacture of the WaveSense™ technology only last 90 days while the Accu-Chek® last up to 16 months. I find it somewhat odd that Abbott and Bayer do not establish a shorter expiration date based on the first opening the of the bottle while all the other strip manufactures do establish a time restriction. I am told that both Agamatrix® and OneTouch® test strips are available in a 25 count bottle. I like that idea. If I learn of any others who provide a less than 50 count Continue reading >>

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?

Furthermore, you may have too many and want to sell diabetic test strips before they expire. A company named Glucomart performed some tests to help answer these questions. The design and results of their study are shown below. Design They used test strips from different manufacturers that had been expired for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. The expired strips were compared with the same brand unexpired strips. Three control solutions were used: normal, high, and low concentration glucose solutions. Test trips were tested three times in each control solution. Statistics were used to test the accuracy of each strip. The brands tested included: Accu-Check Aviva Plus Accu-Check Compact Advocate Bayer Breeze 2 Bayer Contour Bayer Contour Next Element Embrace FreeStyle FreeStyle Insulinx FreeStyle Lite Liberty Nova Max One Precision Xtra One Touch Ultra One Touch Ultra Blue TrueBalance TrueTest Results The accuracy of the test strips depended on: The brand of the test strip. The length of time since expiration. [thumbnail target=”_self” alt=”Accuracy of the test strips by brand ” src=”There was no significant difference between the accuracy of unexpired strips and those that had been expired for up to 1 year. Most strips that expired 2 years previously were accurate, except for Precision Xtra: Precision Xtra strips that expired 2 years ago were not accurate or precise. Those that expired 3 years ago gave false low readings. Most test strips that expired at least 5 years ago were less precise and accurate. They sometimes ga Continue reading >>

Do Test Strips & Diabetic Supplies Really Expire?

As I mentioned, I’ve been searching for an article on pharmaceutical expiration dates for a week. But finding an objective piece in a sea of editorials (including my own posts on the subject) was very frustrating. This morning, I stumbled onto an article titled Do Medications Really Expire? It’s from a 2003 Psycho-pharmacology column in Medscape (Thomas A. M. Kramer, MD). The article’s findings are worth reading… I just want to clarify one point. Insulin is one of the exceptions to the rule. Do not use expired insulin! Okay, here’s another excerpt followed by a link to the whole story: “Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.” That they do. Here’s a clip and the rest of the story: “One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about ‘expired drug’ labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.” Continue reading >>

Can People With Diabetes Use Expired Blood Glucose Test Strips?

There has long been the debate of whether people with diabetes can use expired test strips. So, can you? Rather than simply answering yes or no, it is important to first understand what exactly a test strip is, and why the argument over expiration first came to pass. The key aspect is enzymes. Enzymes, which are proteins made by cells in all living organisms, coat the end of the strip, which is made of plastic. These enzymes are either glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase. The enzyme reacts with the glucose in a person’s blood and converts it into an electrical current. Upon the electricity being sent through the strip, the glucose concentration is presented by the blood glucose meter. [1] Here’s the thing, though. Enzymes break down over time. The activity of enzymes can decrease following exposure to humidity or extreme temperatures. This can alter the accuracy of glucose readings long before a scheduled expiration date. Subsequently, errors can begin to appear with rogue readings of either a high or low nature. Because the enzymes break down, manufacturers therefore place an expiration date on the strips. This is a necessity for manufacturers. Even if they are confident the strips will display accurate readings for x amount of time, one faulty test strip could lead to a diabetic patient making a management decision that could cost them their lives. The dates may differ depending on how the strips are made. The use of different enzymes can provide greater accuracy with a shorter life or vice versa. Some companies may go for the cheapest alternatives. The accuracy of expiration dates No-one is expected to believe that an expiration date scheduled for a Wednesday will enable to you test accurately on Tuesday, and then not again the day after. However, anecdotal e Continue reading >>

Is It Okay To Use Expired Diabetic Test Strips?

Have you ever thought about using expired diabetic test strips to save money? Read this article to find out whether or not it’s a good idea. Diabetic test strips can be expensive. Some of them range up to $2 a piece. And in a box of 50, that can really start to add up. It’s understandable that you’d want to be able to get the most for your money from that. It’s understandable that you’d want to be able to get the most for your money from that. That’s why it can be so frustrating when they reach their expiration date before you’re finished with them and you have to throw them away. When this happens, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the worst that will happen if I use these?” Well, the conversation around expired test strips is actually very lively. Many people have an opinion on whether or not using expired test strips is the right thing to do. We’re here to give you all of the facts, so that you can form an opinion of your own How do diabetic test strips work? In order to understand whether or not you should be using an expired test strip, it can be useful to understand how they work. The basic explanation is this — a liquid-attracting layer moves your blood into the little window on the strip, which is known as the “chemistry strip.” This strip is made up of an enzyme and what’s known as a mediator. The enzyme attaches itself to the glucose in your blood and pulls off sugar electrons. The mediator then passes the enzyme through the circuit to get you your reading. The enzyme is “living,” which is how a diabetic test strip is able to expire in the first place. Eventually, the enzyme will “die,” or break down. And then it will not be able to attach to the glucose in your blood or pull off the sugar electrons. But when exactly do Continue reading >>

What happens if you use expired diabetic test strips?

Using test strips that have expired can cause your results to be inaccurate. If your test strips have expired, throw them away and begin using a new vial of strips. The expiration date is printed on every vial of test strips.

How long are test strips good for after opening?

Test strips are effective for either 3-4 months after opening or until the expiration date if sealed and unopened. After opening a test strip vial, make sure to tightly close the lid again to prevent the ingress of humidity.

How do you get rid of old diabetes meters?

As a rule of thumb, most electronics should be placed in an electronic waste bin which can be found at an e-waste center.

What is the one food that kills diabetes?

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd or karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as food or medicine.

How long do blood glucose meters last?

Many glucose meters can last more than 10 years and still function normally. If you’ve had your glucose meter for a while, you may be wondering when you should consider replacing it. The key to knowing when it’s time for new equipment primarily lies with the accuracy of your machine.

What do you do with expired diabetic supplies?

Your best bet when disposing of needles and syringes is to use a FDA approved sharps container. You may be able to purchase one from your pharmacy or a local medical waste disposal company.

Why do you wipe the first drop of blood when checking blood sugar?

The first drop of blood from a lancing site contains a greater volume of platelets , which could make the lancing site seal up before enough blood was obtained for the test , and the dual wipe ensured a longer, larger flow of blood.

How long can you use an expired test strip?

Certain studies suggest that it is possible to utilize an expired test strip for a period of more than 1 year, sometimes 2 years, from the date of expiration. While the exact timeframe is debatable, all experts agree that you have some wiggle room in this department.

How much are sugar test strips?

Most sugar test strips tend to be expensive, ranging all the way to over $2 per piece. When you consider that most strips come in a pack of 50, that’s a sizeable amount you need to shell out. Most people try to extract every piece of value they can from their test strips. As a result, you may find yourself frustrated if the strips go beyond ...

Why do pharmaceutical companies push their expiration dates ahead?

They push their expiration dates ahead in order to protect themselves from annoying lawsuits that could cost them millions.

Why do test strips go in the garbage?

Many people throw them in the garbage because they believe that there is no further use to them. However, some people prefer to keep using them or even sell test strips for cash.

Can a diabetic strip be inaccurate?

Well, your readings could be inaccurate and outright wrong. When the enzymes in the diabetes strip start breaking down, they won’t be able to function properly anymore. Therefore, they won’t be capable of pulling sugar electrons from the blood for obtaining your glucose readings.

Do diabetic strips expire?

Can Diabetic Test Strips Expire? Well, yes. However, it is somewhat of a complicated matter. While companies place the expiration date on the packs for a purpose, they are not always entirely accurate. It is not that the strip becomes completely useless after the day after the expiry date.

Does glucose break down in one day?

Glucose strips have a mediator and an enzyme as well. The latter gets attached to the sugar in the blood and then attracts sugar electrons. The strip’s mediator passes it through its circuit for giving you a reading. This enzyme, however, is a biological substance. As a result, it will break down one day.

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