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doctordun

Expired Test Strips

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I buy my strips off eBay (and some are expired) and I test them against a vile of new ones that I keep around. Have yet to find any expired strips that were off the mark. Walgreens usually has a "sale" basket and theyre sometimes in there at a reduced price. I think its a way for the manufactures to get folks to toss their lot and buy more. Google expired strips and its the manufatures that say toss em. Many diabetics continue to use them.

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I have had strips actually say "EXPIRED" on my meter. I was glad it was the strip and not me.

 

Yes, they can go bad.

Forester likes this

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Expired strips do go bad. Usually though if they aren't too far past the expiration date they won't. THere's also one meter out there that when they do expire the meter won't accept the strips at all. That was brought up on here recently and I can't think of which meter it is, maybe someone else can chime in on that.

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Expiration Dates, Expiry Dates of Pharmaceuticals / Drugs / Information Xchange / StuartXchange.com

I use the Freestyle freedom and test my ebay strips (if theyre soon to or are expired) along side a new strip. Easy way to check. I too question what goes stale on a glucose strip. Read below where they say that Freestyle strips can last 1 1/2 yrs after opening. #9 in the list.

 

Blood Sugar Monitors - What You Need to Know

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A few years ago when my FIL was living with us - I was getting his readings at 2mmol. I wasn't seeing it in his behaviour. I made an appointment urgently with his geriatrician. His readings were really 18! The strips hadn't expired yet but only had about a month to go.

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I wish you all would say what brand of strips you are talking about, whether good or bad.

 

Only once have I had a box of expired strips. They were One Touch strips backin the days when One Touch took a "long time" (What was that? One minute? Forty seconds?) to give a result. The results seemed to be reliable, though they were 1 year past the date.

 

If someone wanted to give me an expired box, I would cheerfully accept. :)

naesatt likes this

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I get the exact same results (sometimes off by 2 or 3 mg/dL) with my almost 1 year expired UltraSmart strips verses my Ascensia Contour strips that expire sometime next year.

 

The UltraSmart strips (which expired in May 2007) seem to be accurate.

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I've used Freestyles that were a year old, and compared them with new Freestyles, and the variance was within the "acceptable range". Actually, if IIRC, the variance was negligible. So I don't freak out about "expired" Freestyles that are less than one year expired, at least.

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The only thing I assume that can go wrong with most strips is moisture. Most have some form of dying agent in the packaging which will eventually stop working. More so in hot humid climates than cool dry ones but...

I suppose if you saved all the drying packs that come with many shipped items these days and threw them in a plastic box where you keep strips, it could help them last longer.

Mike

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There are chemicals in the strips. Usually glucose oxidase or hexokinase. These are enzymes that will reduce glucose and with some other chemicals in the strip, either produce a color that is in proportion to the amount of glucose present or a small amount of electric current proportional to the amount of glucose. Since these chemicals are enzymes, they are highly specific to glucose, but they can be fooled. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) will give false results as well as some other common things. Some other medical conditions may also interfer. I can't remember which ones.

 

I was a senior medical lab tech for 20+ years in the Army and at Tacoma General Hospital.

Stl-T2 likes this

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So now something new. I take vitamin C and Iron every day to combat anemia. If vitamin C can give false readings, I'm in trouble.

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Abbott Precision Xtra will not allow expired test strips, gives an error of E-6, change the date on the meter and they will work again.

naesatt likes this

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I have some freestyle test strips with an expiration date of 12/08 does this mean that they are good up to and including 12/31/08. I could not find this info on any manufacturers website.

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It's not like strips are fine on December 31st and then magically go bad on Jan 1st if the expiration is 12/2008 for example.

 

I wouldn't use anything that's more than a month expired though. Just QC the bottle and if the QC is fine, the strips should be fine.

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What do you mean by QC? if this is quality check what kind of check do you recommend to make sure that expired strips are still good?

 

nfy:confused:

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Sorry about that, QC = Quality Control. The control solution in the little bottles, there should be a high, there should be a low. If you don't have any, it'll be tough to verify. Without much on hand, you could test a known "normal" person that hasn't eaten in a couple of hours to verify that it's reading in the general ballpark.

 

It'd be rough with household items. A drop of OJ should give you a reading of "Too High" or something analogous on your meter. Just like a drop of water should give you a "too low".

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I went on Amazon and the strips are much cheaper but exp date is within a few months. i have to figure out if it is worth saving $40. I guess I'll test next to a new strip. Does anyone know why those little strips are so expensive. i do thing it is a conspiracy. If we all tested more we could fight this disease better.

naesatt likes this

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It's all about the money jwags, no doubt about it. They make a ton of money from us being sick. That's the bottom line. The drug companies certainly don't want to find a "cure" or anything that might limit how much medicine we need, they certainly don't want us to test less often. And yes, I'm certain they could make test strips more affordable or with longer expiration dates. But it's all about money. And unfortunately, it will always be about money.

 

That's why people should look at things with a jaundiced eye. I believe people have to look at the motivation behind any "new findings" or "studies". Are these studies financed by a drug company?

naesatt and funkynassau like this

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The UltraSmart strips (which expired in May 2007) seem to be accurate.

 

I asked my health care person about this very thing, I use the OneTouch Ultra test strips, as I use a OneTouch meter, and I had some out of date strips. She told me to go ahead and use them, but she wouldn't use strips that were more than a year out of date.

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I have been a diabetic (type 1 ) for about 40 years now. I have learned to test my blood AT LEAST 7 times ever day at strategic times of the day. Meters are meters, strips are strips. Some are better than others, but most are pretty good. The strips are nothing more than an internally coated element. The "element" closes a "circuit" when the drop of blood is placed onto the end of the strip (where the element is an open circuit without the drop of blood) a small amount of electricity is put into this circuit after the initial 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds. (depending on the type of machine you have.) The meter registers NOT the amount of glucose in your blood, but the AMOUNT of electricity which is allowed to pass through the circuit. The circuit is nothing more than a wire coated with special chemicals. The more glucose your drop of blood contains, the more the chemicals deteriorate and the more electricity can pass from one end of the wire to the other. The more electricity passes through, the higher your glucose registers. It's really both brilliant and quite simple. Don't know why the strips cost so much, HOWEVER... I have used 5 year old strips in an emergency and they registered within a few points of a new strip. The best expired strips are the ones which are individally wrapped in a foil to keep all moisture out.

I would double check the test strips against new test strips after ever container to make sure they were testing correctly.

Good Health To All...

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I had an unopened vial of OneTouch strips that I tried using a year after the expiration date.

 

I tested the strip against a current one and the bg was within 2 mg/dl (0.1 mmol), so I used the entire vial sucessfully. If you have control solution, you can use that, too, but I never seem to have it when I need it.

 

As someone else on here said, if you meter rejects the strip as being "out of date", you simply need to back the date up to a date before the expiration to test the strip. If you have to do this, you might want try this on a backup meter, if you have one, just so you don't screw up any logs you might be keeping on your meter. :)

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One thing I forgot to add. It really doesn't matter if your tests are a few points off. I assume that if you were to take 100 machines, from different manufacturers, and tested your blood with a glucose level of 120, you would probably get readings from about 115 to 125. These machines are not perfect, but neither are the machines at hospitals or lab centers. As long as it's close, you are fine. After all, that's what we are trying to accomplish. AVERAGES, right? 8) As soon as you put two saltines into your mouth, your blood sugar will go up by 20 anyway. I am such a grazer...

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