Expiration Dates on Supplies


#1

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?


#2

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!


#3

Great question!!! :wink:


#4

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.


#5

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!


#6

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:


#7

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.


#8

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.


#9

Jenny,

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.


#10

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.