Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?
Glucose test strips are expensive. Are you wasting money if you throw away expired strips? Are they still accurate if you use them after they have expired? These are important questions to ask if you cannot afford new test strips, or want to use old ones. 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 >>
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. 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 >>
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Glucose Monitor Test Strips
When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I was offered a coupon for a glucose monitor. Having no idea what I was getting into, I got the monitor, brought it home, and started using it. The very first problem I came up against was that the monitor came with ten free strips, which did not last long. The cost for the strips when I bought them at the pharmacy was another shock. There are many things I wish I had known then, so I am sharing these tips I’ve learned over years of dealing with test strips in the hope that you will avoid my mistakes. First, check the cost You may already know this, but there is never any need to buy a glucose monitor. The major monitor makers will be happy to send you one free. But which one do you want? After you have done a little research and decided on the monitor you would like to use, the next step should be to find out how much those test strips cost. Every monitor style uses a different kind of test strip, so you must buy the ones specifically made for the monitor you picked. If you check the prices online on a site like Amazon, you can easily compare your monitor’s test strips with others on the market. There is sometimes a surprising price difference. Another tip: It will be easier on your pocketbook if the monitor you chose is popular. You will find the test strips everywhere with no trouble, often at lower cost because they are widely available. Second, read the expiration date on every batch of test strips Your test strips have a limited shelf life. It may be a year or more, but if you have several vials or boxes, make sure you use the oldest ones first so they do not expire. Whether you get yours at the pharmacy or buy them online, always make sure the expiration date is a long way off. Mine usually are good for a year. If th 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Do Old Test Strips Give False Readings?
I just recently became worried that I could have pre-diabetes (because of a series of yeast infections that keep coming back, plus my unhealthy diet and weight). I have a glucometer from when a veterinarian incorrectly diagnosed my cat with diabetes about a year ago. (What a long, weird story that is!) It's a normal Walgreens glucometer designed for people, so I thought I'd take a peek at my blood sugar before eating anything this morning, and maybe that'd give me an idea of whether I should rush to the doctor or just stop being so paranoid. It first gave me a reading of 234, then 249 a minute later. But it seems to me that I'd be having a lot of symptoms if my fasting blood sugar were actually that high, but I've felt fine and haven't been crazy thirsty or anything. Is it likely that the glucometer needs new blood strips? (The ones I used were opened about a year ago, and have been closed up in the little tub since then.) And yes, I know I should go to a doctor about any concerns like this. I will as soon as I have either health insurance or money. Last edited by lizzistardust; 08-23-2008 at 17:21. OMG, this is scary. I forgot about this post that I made two years ago... and here I am with type 1, yes, type one diabetes, diagnosed barely over four months ago! Obviously, I never told a doctor about those questionable meter results... I didn't find out I'm diabetic until I went to my GP about cracks at the corners of my mouth and she thought it was a yeast infection, and so wanted to make sure my blood sugar wasn't too high. (Fasting turned out to be 342!) And obviously, my blood sugar was high for at least two years. And obviously, most T1s can't walk around mostly healthy for two years after their pancreas starts to bite the dust. Makes me wonder... LADA/T1.5? (My doc Continue reading >>
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 >>
Where Do Expired Test Strips I Donate Go?
You may wonder what is going to happen to the expired test strips you donate. Don’t worry, we put them to good use. The expired test strips you donate will be donated to the Pet Diabetes Program or the Diabetes Art Center. These are wonderful programs that help support both humans and animals with diabetes. The Pet Diabetes Program gets expired test strips that have been expired for less than 1 year It is not only people that are affected by diabetes, but animals can get diabetes too. Treating diabetes in an animal is just as costly as treating it in a human. Since most pets do not have health insurance their owners must pay out of pocket for their testing supplies and medication. Many owners do not test their pets regularly because of the costs associated with it. This leads to poor control and increases the risk of diabetic complications. We donate expired test strips that have been expired for less than a year to families with a diabetic pet. Control solution is also provided at no cost to ensure that the results are accurate. This program has improved the lives of several diabetic pets who would have otherwise suffered from poorly controlled diabetes. The Diabetes Art Center gets expired test strips that have been expired for more than 1 year Expired test strips that have been expired for more than one year are donated to the Diabetes Art Center. Diabetic artists of all ages create masterpieces made of old diabetic supplies and The Diabetes Art Center auctions them off to the highest bidder. All proceeds from the auctions go to help the uninsured/underinsured pay for their antidiabetic medications and diabetes testing supplies. This is a great way to recycle those expired test strips and help out a diabetic in need. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Spring Cleaning With Diabetes Supplies
Like me, you probably have a diabetes supply drawer (unofficially) labeled with “I have no idea what to do with these.” We recently asked a question to our Facebook community that read, “Spring is almost here! Are you planning to do some spring cleaning with your diabetes supplies?” and it sounded like the community had some of the same questions I had about best practices for disposing of these supplies. So what are you supposed to do with different diabetes supplies? When it comes to spring cleaning with diabetes supplies there are a few key things to keep in mind. Recycling Keep an eye on the symbols that appear on packages as these may provide guidance on whether or not you can recycle something. If there is a recycling symbol found on the package you should be able to recycle it. You may not have realized that there are many diabetes products that you can recycle such as test strip or infusion set boxes, infusion set cartons, protective plastic needles caps, and paper instructions for use, just to name a few. Check out this website to find a recycling center and local guidelines in your area. Disposing of Needles Most importantly, and possibly most common for people with diabetes, you need to be aware of how to properly dispose of needles. Needles should always be disposed of in a sharps container or container that can’t be easily punctured like a sealed milk carton or laundry detergent bottle (although this might not be allowed where you live, so make sure to confirm what’s allowed in your area first). To learn about your local regulations on throwing away needles, check out this website. Disposing of Electronic Waste Electronic waste can range from an out of warranty MiniLink® transmitter to a blood glucose meter that you don’t use anymore. As a ru 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 >>
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 >>
Why It’s Not Okay To Use Expired Diabetic Test Strips
Is it okay to use expired diabetic test strips? To understand why you must not use expired diabetic test strips, you need know what is inside a diabetic test strip and how it works. Diabetic test strips are made of layers of plastic, gold (it serves as the test strip’s circuit), and enzymes. When a small drop of blood is placed on the test strip, these enzymes react with the glucose on the blood. This chemical reaction is converted into an electrical current. Then, the blood glucose meter reads and displays the blood sugar level. The enzymes on the test strips are susceptible to breakdown over time. 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. Some people can’t afford the high cost of test strips. Good thing, you can help others by selling your excess diabetic test strips to us. We make sure that it gets to people who need them. You don’t have to worry about selling your test strips. Diabetic test strips is a non-prescription commodity and it is legal to sell them. If you have test strips to sell, please call our toll-free line at 855 578 7477 for a quick quote. Our helpful staff is ready to answer all of your questions. You could also check out our FAQ page. Continue reading >>