Test Strips Do Expire –

Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?
This was a question posted in Yahoo Questions:
Yahoo Question

Resolved Question

Old Diabetic Test Strips Making This Difference?
My family has a history of diabetes so I test my blood glucose often. Everything has been normal. I can no longer afford the test strips so I started using my late father’s old ones. His monitor too as his strips don’t fit mine. The strips are expired. I’m starting to get readings in the 600′s. However I’m not passing ketones (those strips are new and unexpired). Could the old strips be causing these high readings? Thanks for any help.

* 1 week ago

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker
Absolutely!

The strips expire. The readings are no good after the date indicated on the package. Readings may be too high OR too low.

* 1 week ago

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One Response

  1. Well, listen, you have to use common sense on the whole “expiry date” thing. The product does not automatically degrade, rot, spoil or transmute into it’s elemental particles on its expiration date.

    Expiration dates are set by the manufacturer as a date that they will no longer be responsible for 100% product reliability. Normally, this is done by either testing or estimating the average shelf life of the product, then using 50% of that as the expiry date.

    This pretty much is when the product “may” start degrading, however, tests have shown that products, if properly stored (medicines sealed and in refrigerators) can last up to 15 years(!!!) without serious degredation. Of course, there are “some” medications that will degrade much faster, and even some that will degrade into potent poisons, but these are well known and marked on their packaging.

    The rest? Well, the product producers want to keep selling the products faster and with higher costs, so artificially inflating the demand/dispose cycle keeps their accounting books healthy. Aggressive Marketing by these companies have brainwashed the younger generations into believing that newer is better, and that in every case, you must go out and buy new replacements immediately upon expiry.

    Hogwash!

    As I said before, use common sense, and in the case of test strips, use the test solution you can get from your test meter’s company (or a pharmacy) and test a couple strips in a batch you have just opened. If they test fine, the chances are the remainder in that batch should be fine as well.

    Test strips do contain chemicals to bind with the glucose, and so on, and they can dry out/become moist or become inactive for whatever reason after a period of time. Test Strip manufacturers generally say that once a container has been opened, the contents should be used within 3 months.

    Here is some more info on expiry dates of Medications:
    http://stuartxchange.org/ExpirationDates.html

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