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From Fort Lupton, Colorado, USA:

My 57 year old father, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than three years ago, would like to know if it is advisable to use expired blood glucose test strips. He noticed that when he tried using the expired test strips, the results were inaccurate or very much different from his average readings. If the answer is no, could you tell me where I can buy new test strips? Do I also need to buy new glucose monitor meter with them?


It is not a good idea to use expired test strips because (as you have found) they are more likely to be inaccurate. You can purchase test strips over the counter at any pharmacy, but it better to get a prescription from your father's health care provider and submit the bill to his health insurance for reimbursement. You might want to call his health insurance provider to see if you can get test strips cheaper through their mail order drug plan.


Additional comments from Shirley Goodman, diabetes nurse specialist:

Once blood glucose strips have reached their expiration date printed on the vial, or their 'open' expiration date (usually 3 months after a vial is open), the strips are not accurate for reading blood glucose levels. Also, when strips are exposed to extreme heat, humidity, or cold, they are inaccurate for measuring blood glucose levels.

Vials of strips can be purchased at a drug store, with or without a prescription. Insurance and medicare/Medicaid programs will often cover a portion of the cost of the strips if you have a doctor's prescription.


Original posting 28 Sep 2003
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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