Can sensors still be used after the expiration date?

I have several Dexcom Seven sensors, but they all expire at the end of December, 2012. If I try to use one in January or later, will they work? Or, does the manufacturer do something that keeps them from working after the expiration date?

I'd sure appreciate an answer on this if anyone knows...and is there a way to bypass the expiration date and still use the sensor?

I am currently using my sensors to two weeks per sensor, and I'm finding that the second week tends to be more accurate than the first week!

Thanks for any advice and knowledge on this issue.

Officially they, of course, expire. I've found that there's still fairly accurate up to about 3 months after expiration. After that sometimes they'll work, sometimes they won't. This may very much be a YMMV thing but if you've got them I'd give them a try. They're to expensive not to try!

There are no brains in the sensor that tells it when to expire. It may not be as accurate depending on the conditions it has been stored in. But, if it has mostly been stored in a dark place (like the box it is shipped in) and been kept at 70ish degrees and hasn't been subject to wide variations in temp, you should be fine using them past the date. There are chemicals on the wire that probably degrade with time even if they are kept in perfect temp, humidity, darkness, and you are sticking that wire in your body, and making treatment decisions based on the results, so I am not sure I would use one that is a year or two past date. Of course, I am not a doctor, scientist, FDA or Dexcom official, so YMMV.

I'm using up mine that expired last april... with no change in accuracy what so ever.

Well, it's not like they're fine one day and dead the next. Manufacturers of food AND medical supplies tend to put the earliest possible risk date on their products, because of CYA. So I have no doubt that January, February, or even March would be just as good as December. The only risk you take with a sensor is that if it fails, they will not replace it. But that doesn't really matter, since I would hope you're checking with your meter before making treatment decisions anyway, right?

Only thing to be careful of is your insurance may not pay if you do not use items according to manufacturer instructions. There was a parent on here about three years ago with a very sad story about a misadventure and insurance would not cover the costs because the parent failed to follow manufacturer and prescriber guidelines.

Well, that sounds like an actual pump or CGM malfunction caused by some error on the part of the parent. Like dropping it in the toilet or something. I have, in the past, used a sensor that was expired and malfunctioned, and called about it, and all that happened was that they wouldn't replace it. Which I wasn't upset about -- I'm far more upset about the fact that their free upgrade period from the 7+ to the G4 was so short -- I received mine in Sept. but it was shipped in Aug. so no free upgrade. I'd only been using the 7+ for 2 months!

I understand people try to extend their usage per sensor, but in all honestly, we really shouldn't try to do that (and that includes myself). I wouldn't use a sensor longer than two weeks. Sometimes we really can run the risk of infection if we wear them too long. It's almost like injecting insulin in the same place for long periods of time.


FYI, I'm using now sensors which expired in Nov 2011 (1 year and 3 months ago) and I get 14 days of use out of each without any special issues. I kept them in the refrigerator during all this time though to try to slow down any degradation of their chemical reagent.

Disclaimer : Just because they work fine for me, it doesn't mean that I recommend it for anyone else :)