Expiration Dates on Supplies

As I was going through my closet, I came across some testing strips and glucagon today, but the expiration date on them is about a year ago. Can I still use them? Supplies are so expensive… I hate to throw them away just because the box says they have “expired”! Does anyone have any insight on this?

Hey Gina! As far as the test strips go, I would just check them with some control solution, if that looks good I would use them. I don’t know about the glucagon but that reminds me I should replace the old one I have … Never needed it but I guess everyone should have one, that is as long as you have someone there to give it to you… Take care!

Great question!!! :wink:

The control solution test is WORTHLESS.

I have had two different boxes of defective strip (both Aviva) where they were testing much higher than lab or what I knew to be a reliable meter-- e.g. 240 on the Aviva meter when the lab was 201. But the control solution test was normal.

I have two meters of the same brand, one in my purse one in the office so in a situation like this, I’d compare the questionable strips with a simultaneous test on the other meter. A difference of up to 10 mg/dl is probably normal variation.

Re the glucagon, you can’t afford to gamble with this. If you use it, it has to work.

Most medications are good for up to 1 year after their expiration date. If the glucagon is older than that, I’d toss it. I’d probably use the test strips though because they’re so expensive!

Hey ya’ll,

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate it! I never even thought to try the test solution! duh.

Erica, thanks for the tip about the glucagon. I know you’re a nurse so you know what’s best. I think the expiration was Feb of 2007, so I guess since it has been a year and since glucagon isn’t something to gamble with, I’ll just pitch 'em.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I’ve used expired strips before (not a year old, but prob a few months past their date). My latest Accu-Chek Aviva meter doesn’t even ALLOW you to use expired strips. The machine is smart enough to know, and it just gives an error message. When I previously used expired strips, they seemed to work, but without double-checking on another meter, I can’t speak about the accuracy of my results. If you have other strips, try checking using both and compare the results. I know they’re expensive. However, if they are really giving you bad results, think of the money you’ll spend at the doctor’s as a result.

As for the glucagon, I wouldn’t be injecting anything that’s expired. If it loses it’s effectiveness, I would think it could be dangerous.

Hi, I have a friend that is in school to be a phamist and she said the exp. date is a date that meds hold 90% potantancy and after that date it slowly goes down but it still will work.


I tried the test today – I tested with strips that were not expired and my blood sugar was 156. I then tested with strips that expried last year and my blood sugar was 173. Just to be sure, I re-tested again with the “good strips” and my result was 155.

Do you think that the difference from 155-156 to 173 is normal variation? Should I pitch the old strips?

I also made sure that the code on the meter was correct with the code on the bottle when performing these tests.

Any suggestions/ideas/feedback would be appreciated. I looked everywhere for the control solution and it doesn’t seem that I have any so I can’t really perform a test that way.

I’ve always been told there can be a variation of 15-20 mg/dl between machines and between your meter’s reading and your “actual” blood sugar. I would consider your findings a normal variation.