Hoarding Sensors

I just realized today that hoarding sensors may not have been the best idea. I have a HUGE deductible (around $2000) so once I meet it I place the maximum order for sensors. Trouble is I get 3-4 weeks out of my sensors - and this is only troubling now that I have 2 boxes that expired in Oct 2011 and 2 boxes that expired in January 2012 and 3 boxes that Will expire in April. I never noticed they had short dates. Just when you figure out a way around high costs it bites you in the butt.

I've read a number of people have used expired sensors without a problem so hopefully my last sensor failure was a fluke. 2 days on the arm (my last one on my arm lasted just over 4 weeks) and it failed. All I can do is give them a try....but I'd love to hear if you've had success with expired sensors?

No experience, but would like to know how they can expire so soon.

Hope it works for you to use them.

I've used expired sensors before with no problem... I'm not sure I've ever been more than 3 months over expiration but every expired one I've used so far has been fine.

The expiration dates range from 3 to 6 months.

My recent order, I insisted that I will only accept six months expiration.

I have been told by Dex rep, that the only issue is with the glue on the sensor. She told me the expiration date is there because they can not guarantee that it will stick after a long time.

I have used expired sensors with no problem at all.

The other issue is, if anything else goes wrong, and you call Dexcom, they will ask you for the sensor's number. As soon as they see it was expired, they will not replace it for any other issue.

I called about the one that just failed and that is how I realized I had so many expired sensors! The woman on the phone said there's a live enzyme on the wire and that after time it diminishes and that's why they have an expiration.

I just inserted an Oct 2011 sensor so I'll see how it goes and report back! It is on my stomach though which never lasts much mre than 10 days for me. Figure I should use them up anyway so it doesn't matter. Thanks Isaac!

I have had a similar experience. I started with DexCom in Nov of 2009 and found that on my stomach they last about 3 weeks. I didn't notice the expiration date either because like you, I was trying to make them last as long as possible. I now change out every two weeks and that works pretty well with the expiration dates. I've used expired ones successfully but not that long past the date. With every two weeks I still save 1/2 of the cost. The 90 day supply that my insurance covers (after the deductible) lasts me about 6 months. I wear them in 4 clockwise rotating spots centering on my belly button (2:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30) so I only hit the same spot every 8 weeks and it seems to work fine.

Wow. Had no idea of the expiration of the sensors (I'm too new to this I guess -- just started with my Dex in Oct '11). I was dutifully ripping them off every Thursday night until I started reading in this forum here that folks have made them last up to 30 days (!!).

I placed a sensor on my stomach a few weeks ago when I first came in here asking about sensitivity issues, and after doing the above reading it has now been on me for about two and a half weeks. However, having read now that there are expiration dates I am now thinking I shouldn't attempt to stretch out things too too long as the ones I save won't be usable down the line. Hm.

I gotta go in search of the expiration notice on my box -- I don't recall seeing anything about that at all. Bummer.

In any case, thanks for the notification!

Hey Michael- You'll see the expiration on the package of each sensor and on the outside of the box. I'm still going to stretch mine out as long as they can go because I don't really like searching for new locations, inserting them or messing with them in general until I get bad readings. I can definitely get 14-30 days out of most of them. I'm just not going to be such a hoarder and request 6 months expirations like Isaac!

I've used them on Caleb without realizing they were expired and they have always been a problem. Just this week we had one. It consistently showed his blood sugar going in the opposite direction and after three days was all ???

Wait...so you're saying just because I get the "Change sensor soon" notice, I don't have to change it? How do I get around that?

You get that message regularly in 7 days from the time you started the sensor. To restart the sensor and give you another week (or 2 depending on how long the readings are reliable), go to "stop sensor" at the bottom of the options and then move back to the top of the options list where, voila, there is a "start sensor" option. Go through the set up process just as if it were a new sensor which takes 2-3 hours.

Wow! where were you back in December when I started this? lol. Thanks! After posting it, I figured it was that, or I had to pull the sensor out and put it back in. Crazy! I'm angry to think that I've been changing it regularly when I could have given myself a few extra days lol. Thanks again and I think I'm going to turn into a hoarder!

Hey Jigga - I cam onto the board on 1/26 and posted up into Cara's thread (Uncomfortable) because I was concerned about site selection and pain. I myself am not all that concerned with the hoarding of these expensive little devices, but was concerned that if I hit a nerve (as I have a few times already) and it was unbearable to wear, then how were folks here handling that? There was discussion over in that thread about the length you can wear the sensors that I was pretty surprised by, but it's all good to know (you should ge read it, too). As mentioned above, I'm now on my third week on my current sensor. I'll put my next one on this coming Sunday at the end of the third week regardless if it is feeding bad numbers or not -- it's just time. But, at least with wearing this one for a longer period of time I now have a few extras just in case I hit another nerve (wow, is that ever painful to me!).

I "hoard" my sensors too by wearing them for 2 weeks for the same reason. If I have a sensor that is painful after insertion and it doesn't work out after several hours, it gives me a "stash" to be able to replace it.

I don't try for longer than 2 weeks because I like to be able to plan when I want to change the sensor. I prefer to do it in the morning when my bg is more stable and on a weekend when I'm not working.

Jigga - I've also hit sensitive tissue that remains painful even after a few hours. I usually pull them even thought they've only been in a short time. They almost always turn out to be a bleeder. In these cases I've appealed to Dex customer service and they've replaced it without a charge.

In fact, I recently called Dex because I needed an MRI. I wanted to confirm that the sensor had to come out. It did.

At that point I was into my second week but I usually get 14 days out of each sensor. The customer service rep asked me how long I had it in. If it had been less than a week they were ready to replace it free of charge. I told them that that was not necessary in this case but I felt good that they offered.

That's very interesting, Terry. I called Dex when I had my first hot sensor issue right after I started back in Oct'11. I was absolutely brand new to the device when I called in, so didn't know if I was going to have to leave that very painful sensor on me or not. I didn't know what to do, so I called them. The customer service rep I got made it seem like she was doing me a huge favor by replacing that one sensor for me—that she was being nice because I was brand new to them. In fact, she said they would not do that for me again. Hm. [shrug]

wow. great thread. didn't know where to start/who to reply to! Good things to know all the way; Dexcom return (or not). Expirations- I have been getting solid 21 days out of each sensor, on the backs of the arms- only taking them off when the layers of tape get too too ugly. Readings seem to have been as good as expected all the way through 3 weeks with days 12-ish to 17-ish seeming to get the most accurate readings. I had given no thought about expiration- figure I get just under one sensor a month, I have the same insurance as Courtney who started the thread (Hi Courtney!) and always try to reach my deductible as soon as I can, loading up on supplies. Have to watch expirations for sure.


Sounds like a good idea...at least get one last good order in before the end of the year. I had just wanted to be a super hoarder:)

Hi Maggie!! So awesome you're getting so many days! Just be prepared for the inevitable dud, or in dexcom's definition- the expected life/wear of a sensor. But you're kicking butt with your sensors!

I don't know if this is pertinent or not, but higher temperatures generally cause chemical reactions to occur faster. I make it a point to store unused sensors, in sealed plastic bags, in my basement, where the temperature is lowest (winter 60 degrees, summer 70 degrees).

The maximum storage temperature for sensors is 77 degrees. The temperature in my house, especially in the summer, often exceeds this limit.

I am not having any problems with my current sensor - 13th day of use, expiration date 9/11.