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Do Blood Glucose Test Strips Expire?

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?

Yes, diabetic test strips expire. To understand why diabetic test strips expire, you need to know a little bit about how they work. Test strips contain enzymes that help convert glucose into electricity—this electrochemical signal is read by your meter and translated into the number that appears on your screen. Diabetic test strips expire because these enzymes degrade over time. As the enzymes degrade, the electrochemical signal being sent to the meter will become weaker, resulting in lower readings. Test strips are also highly sensitive to heat and humidity and will expire more quickly when exposed to excess heat or humidity. Most test strip containers contain a substance that absorbs moisture to protect the test strips when they are exposed to moist climates. The substance can only absorb so much moisture before it becomes saturated so test strips need to be protected from moisture as much as possible. The amount of heat/humidity that causes an inaccurate reading varies depending on the brand of test strips. A good rule of thumb is to keep test strips between 40°F-86°F (4°C-30°C) and to limit exposure to the environment by keeping vials closed between testing and using test strips within 6 months of opening vials. Control solutions should also be used periodically to make sure you are receiving accurate readings. Control solutions, while helpful, do not provide very precise measurements. They usually come in low, normal, and high ranges. Low control solutions measure levels between ~30-60 mg/dL, normal control solutions measure levels between ~70-120 mg/dL, and high control solutions measure levels between ~250-400. As you can see these are large ranges and should not be the sole method used to determine if readings are accurate. If you don’t think you are get Continue reading >>

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

I have been a diabetic all my life and I wanted to share this information. I have completed alot of research on diabetes and diabetic testing. I have been associated with alot of doctors and have also had the joy of being associated with an individual who was involved in the actual testing of diabetic test strips at a research center. The following information was shared with me by these individuals and I would like to share it with you. Diabetic test strips do have an expiration date printed on them but that is not the actual expire date. There ia an additional six months of life after the expire date as long as the strips are still in the unopened vial and stored in a dry,cool shaded area. This extra cushion was added to the expire date to prevent us diabetics from testing with a strip a few days old resulting in a bad reading. In my research I could not find any indication that it is illegal for an individual to test with, buy or sell expired strips.This would also indicate that it should be up to the diabetic if they wanted to use them, up to the seller if they wanted to sell them or the buyer if they wanted to buy them. I have done my on test with expired strips and in date strips and recieved the same reading from both so I feel comfortable with using them. With the research and the conversations, I can understand why someone would buy expired strips. This helps those who have low income, no medical coverage or benefit from the low cost. I have seen the price of the in date strips on ebay climbing more and more and this is a concern. I understand someone wanting to make some extra money but I do not agree with making a killing off of someone elses misfortune nor do I agree with someone bidding on they're own strips or having someone do this for them just to get th Continue reading >>

Expired Diabetic Test Strips: Should You Use Them?

Expired Diabetic Test Strips: Should You Use Them?

One of the biggest debates concerning diabetic test strips has always centered on the use of test strips beyond the expiration date. The reason for such a big swing on both sides is the fact that an expired box of test strips may read very close to a test strip that hasn’t expired (within 5 points on either side). This then leads the patient to believe that all expired test strips are fine to use as long as the strips aren’t ‘too old’. After combing several blogs, I’ve noticed that a large number of diabetic patients who use expired test strips believe the Pharmaceutical industry places an expiration date on test strips in order to generate a larger, more steady income. On the other hand, the patients who believe test strips expire seem to all have stories about getting incorrect readings when testing against newer dated test strips. So, is it true that the Pharmacy industry is setting expiration dates for their own personal gain? To find the correct answer, we must first understand what a test strip is actually made of in order to determine if an expiration date is really needed or not. What’s inside a Diabetic Test Strip? A Diabetic test strip, like the Nipro TRUEtest Glucose test strips, consists of a coating on the top layer in order to protect and seal the components and circuit of the strip. The sample chamber is the window in which your blood sample is initially placed on. The chamber has several different parts attached including the spacer, two adhesives that fit in between the spacer, and a liquid attracting layer. All of these parts combined assist in moving the blood sample to the strip known as the chemistry strip. The chemistry strip has two major components. The first is the enzyme which is a ‘living’ protein that attaches itself to glucos Continue reading >>

The Dangers Of Expired Blood Sugar Test Strips

The Dangers Of Expired Blood Sugar Test Strips

Most people may not be aware of this but diabetic test strips do have an expiration date. It is clearly printed on them. Many believe that the date mentioned on the blood sugar test strips is not the actual expire date. There is a notion that an additional six months of life following the expire date is allowed on strips as long as the strips are still in the unopened vial and stored in a dry, cool shaded area. The additional cushion was added to the date of expiration in order to prevent diabetics from testing with a strip that is a few days old. Old strips are known to give bad reading. Moreover, it is not illegal for an individual to test with expired strips. This is usually up to the diabetic if they wanted to use them. Many feel that they get same readings at a time via using expired strips and in date strips. However, it is important to remember that expired Blood Sugar Test Strips will never guarantee accuracy. Another problem is that you cannot claim compensation for any false information or data recovered from expired product. Every product has its shelf life past which the manufacturers don’t guarantee accuracy, performance, and compensation. And it is not wise to take risks with a life threatening disease like diabetes. The risks for expired glucose test strips are inaccurate results. Hence, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer's directions for storage and use of test strips to reduce this risk. Using strips improperly may put you at risk for uncontrolled blood glucose levels. The problem has very dangerous consequences. Hence, it is crucial to pay close attention to the expiration date of glucose test strips. Avoid using a glucose test strip if it appears to be wet or damaged. Continue reading >>

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

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 >>

Donating Expired Diabetic Strips

Donating Expired Diabetic Strips

We are donating the supplies pictured today to both local and national diabetic charities to help both people and animals affected with diabetes. These supplies are badly needed by those who cannot afford the high cost of testing blood glucose levels. The diabetic supplies donated include Freestyle Lite, Accu-Chek meters and lancets, Truetest test strips, BD alcohol wipes, Gmate test strips, Prodigy Test Strips and Liberty lancets and control solutions. We could not do this important work without your help. Diabetics everywhere thank you! Can Dogs Have Diabetes? Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose—which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog. It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder—and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives. What Type of Diabetes Do Most Dogs Get? Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone.) The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin. Dogs who have Type I require insulin therapy to survive. Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin. What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs? The following Continue reading >>

Using Expired Test Strips: Ok Or Not?

Using Expired Test Strips: Ok Or Not?

Test strips, those tiny slips that our glucose meters use to transport a drop of blood to their reader, can be expensive. There are many brands of glucose meters, and generally each meter requires its own brand of test strips. Often, the meters are free, or at the very least, inexpensive. Of course, they require their own unique brand of strips, and that is where the money is made. The expense of testing strips, and the lack of insurance coverage for them, leads to thoughts of how to save money on them. For a well-controlled type 2 diabetic this might not be such a big deal, as testing might only be necessary once or twice a day. For type 1 diabetics, or those type 2s who struggle to maintain control, testing is likely needed many times a day. There have been several unofficial and anecdotal “experiments” done to see if it is possible to use expired strips and get accurate readings. A review of many of these web-published efforts has shown that the accuracy of the readings that come from using expired strips is, at best, a hit-or-miss result. Reusing strips has an even more dismal result, with few strips giving any reading at all on a second use, and virtually none giving an accurate reading. Tips for Keeping the Cost Down Rather than accepting a free or low-cost glucose meter and then being stuck with expensive test strips, shop the test strips first. There are low-cost or generic strips out there, and each brand will tell you which meters they are compatible with. A one-time meter purchase, no matter how expensive, can save you a great amount of money if the strips are less expensive. Know how many strips you need in a day, a week or a month. Buy accordingly. If you are testing your blood only twice each day, then you will need no more than 62 strips each month. I Continue reading >>

Can You Use, Buy Or Sell Expired Diabetes Test Strips?

Can You Use, Buy Or Sell Expired Diabetes Test Strips?

Should you use, buy or sell expired diabetes test strips? A diabetic patient knows the worth of the Blood Glucose test strips which are undoubtedly very expensive and is hefty in the pockets if to be purchased on a regular basis. In response to this, the very first question that comes to the mind is that “are you wasting diabetes test strips by throwing them away?” Do they still give you accurate results if you use them after they are expired? These are very valid questions a diabetic patient asks as most if not all know how expensive diabetes test strips are. And for others, you may have too many of it. And you may want to sell diabetes test strips before they all get expired. Long discussions have been made that whether to use or sell expired diabetes test strips or not. Well, before that it is more important to understand about these diabetes test strips and how do they work. How did the argument regarding expired diabetes test strips passes at the first place? The keys aspect of diabetes test strip is the enzymes. The end of the strip is coated with enzymes which are protein made by cells and is present is all living organisms. The end of the test strip is made of plastic. The use of different enzymes can provide greater accuracy within a very short period. These enzymes are either glucose dehydrogenizes or glucose oxidizes. The glucose in a person’s blood reacts with these enzymes that in turn is converted into an electrical current. Once the electricity is being sent through the strip, the blood glucose meter represents the glucose concentration. However, the activity of the enzymes can be reduced by either: Exposure to humidity Experiencing extreme temperature Consequently, errors are going to occur. It will either display high or low readings. That is why Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: How Expired Can The Milk Be?

Ask D'mine: How Expired Can The Milk Be?

Welcome back to our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois. This week, Wil takes on a dual set of questions asking about expiration dates on those handy little strips we use to test our blood sugar levels -- and whether there's really any need to respect the stamped-on expiration dates. Take a peek at what Wil has to say... as well as what one of the big strip-makers tells us. {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Beth, type 1 from New York, writes: I have been a "juvenile diabetic" since 1960 -- when I was six years old. I have recently received 1600 glucose test strips for free. About 600 of them were expired. I did a little research, and decided that maybe the whole "expiration date" thing for test strips may not be true. I have been using these test strips for two months now. I occasionally test with my regular monitor and unexpired test strips to check the accuracy. Guess what? The results are the same -- maybe 5 points different. I have decided the expiration date on test strips is a ploy by the drug companies to suck us dry! Oh, yeah. The expiration dates were 2007 & 2008. But in the same week.... Bob, type 1 from Sacramento, CA, writes: Over the last few days I have been getting higher than normal readings; 165-325 for no apparent reason. I noticed that my test strips "expired" 4 months ago... could this be the cause of my high readings? Thanks for any help! [email protected] D'Mine answers: Excuse me while I stroll out onto a mine field here... Nothing in diabetes is more controversial than test strips. Their cost. Their accuracy. Their availability. Even their effectiveness as part of therapy. But as much as I usually enjoy beating a dead horse, today I'm going to avoid all o Continue reading >>

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

Is It Ok To Use Expired Diabetes Test Strips

I have been a diabetic all my life and I wanted to share this information. I have completed alot of research on diabetes and diabetic testing. I have been associated with alot of doctors and have also had the joy of being associated with an individual who was involved in the actual testing of diabetic test strips at a research center. The following information was shared with me by these individuals and I would like to share it with you. Diabetic test strips do have an expiration date printed on them but that is not the actual expire date. There ia an additional six months of life after the expire date as long as the strips are still in the unopened vial and stored in a dry,cool shaded area. This extra cushion was added to the expire date to prevent us diabetics from testing with a strip a few days old resulting in a bad reading. In my research I could not find any indication that it is illegal for an individual to test with, buy or sell expired strips.This would also indicate that it should be up to the diabetic if they wanted to use them, up to the seller if they wanted to sell them or the buyer if they wanted to buy them. I have done my on test with expired strips and in date strips and recieved the same reading from both so I feel comfortable with using them. With the research and the conversations, I can understand why someone would buy expired strips. This helps those who have low income, no medical coverage or benefit from the low cost. I have seen the price of the in date strips on ebay climbing more and more and this is a concern. I understand someone wanting to make some extra money but I do not agree with making a killing off of someone elses misfortune nor do I agree with someone bidding on they're own strips or having someone do this for them just to get th Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Update: A lot of our readers ask us where can they find the best deals for test strips. We personally recommend Amazon. You can check the list of selections they offer by clicking here. Blood glucose test strips play a crucial role in helping you to monitor your daily blood glucose level and giving your doctor the data to adjust your medication to control your diabetes symptoms. Without the help from these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can become even more chaotic than ever. But what exactly are these thin little plastic slip and why are they so expensive? Are there any alternative method I can use? Where can I get the best deal on these test strips? This article will answer many of your questions and concerns regarding these blood glucose test strips: Table of Contents History on Glucose Test Strips How Does the Test Strips Work Why Are the Strips So Expensive? And Why the Price Discrepancy? Why Must Diabetic Patients Use Glucometer and Test Strip? How Often Should You Administer A Blood Glucose Test? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? How Accurate Are the Test Strips? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? What is a Urine Glucose Test? Can’t I Use This Procedure Instead? Expiration of Test Strips Medicare Plan B Coverage for Glucose Test Strips Where to Get the Best Deal on Test Strips? Ways to Save of Test Strips How to Avoid Counterfeit Blood Glucose Test Strips Can You Reuse Test Strips? Can You Make Your Own Test Strip? 4 Most Affordable Meters How to Pick the Right Glucometer? How to Dispose Used Test Strips, Lancets, and Needles? What to Do with All These Test Strip Containers? Selling Your Glucose Test Strips A Good Idea? Odd Way to Earn Some Money Back Questions? History on Glucose Test Strips The first glucomet Continue reading >>

Do Test Strips & Diabetic Supplies Really Expire?

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 >>

Is It Okay To Use Expired Diabetic Test Strips?

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 >>

Can I Reuse Blood Glucose Test Strips?

Can I Reuse Blood Glucose Test Strips?

Blood glucose monitoring is a very important part of diabetes management. In order to avoid diabetes-related complications, you need to constantly be aware of your rising blood glucose levels. As a result, diabetes patients need to use the glucose test strips on a regular basis. However, the high budget in which these are available often gives rise to the question “Can I Reuse Blood Glucose Test Strips?” Let us analyze the same in the article that follows and also see if the diabetes patients have other alternatives available at their disposal with which they can regularly be aware of their blood glucose levels. How do the Glucose Test Strips Work? Let us first start by understanding how the test strips actually work. A typical glucose test strip mainly comprises of several different layers. The topmost layer mainly is responsible for soaking the blood that is used for testing of the blood sample. In the layers that follow, there is a layer that consists of an enzyme which reacts with your blood glucose, a layer that has chemicals responsible to complete the entire process before the enzymes and the other chemicals become less active. With the entire sample reaching the bottom layer, the electrons in the chemical are then transferred to the meter for smooth analysis. The entire reaction is then transferred through a circuit into the computer chip in which this process is converted into a reading and where you can also check your reading of the blood glucose levels. How Often Should You Test Your Blood Glucose? As we know, it is very important to regularly monitor your blood glucose levels if you are someone who suffers from diabetes. This is extremely important because if your blood has elevated levels of glucose, you are sure to face a lot of complications includin Continue reading >>

Using Expired Test Strips

Using Expired Test Strips

Using expired test strips can save you a lot of money, but are they accurate? This is an important question for diabetics who can not afford new test strips or for those who want to know their old test strips are still safe. We tested several brands of test strips that had been expired between 1 and 5 years and found that accuracy depended upon the length of time since expiration and the brand of test strip. Test strips were tested with brand specific controls that had at least 6 months until expiration. Test strips were tested 3 times per each control solution (normal, high, low) and averages, standard deviations, and %RSD were used to determine accuracy and precision. Brands of test strips tested included: One Touch Ultra, One Touch Ultra Blue, FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle, FreeStyle Insulinx, Accu-Chek Aviva Plus, Accu-Chek Compact, Bayer Breeze 2, Bayer Contour, Bayer Contour Next, Advocate, Element, Embrace, Liberty, Precision Xtra, TrueTest, TrueBalance, and Nova Max. Results are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please follow the advice of your physician. Expired Test Strips Data Test strips that had been expired for 1 year or less were not found to have a statistically significant variation in readings compared to unexpired test stirps. The majority of test strips at the 2 year mark were within the control solution range with the exception of Precision Xtra. Precision Xtra test strips that had been expired for more than 1 year were very slow at absorbing the control solution and readings were neither accurate nor precise. At three years past expiration Precision Xtra test strips read on average 102 below for high controls and read low (<20 mg/dL) for low controls. Test strips that had been expired m Continue reading >>

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