When my teenager was first diagnosed and diligent about testing (scared to death), we got Rxs for a lot of test strips. It was a battle with the insurance company to fight for enough test strips for a diabetic dancer to cover pre/post-meals and every 30 minutes while dancing. With time, my teenager became must less interested in testing so much. The test strip bottles began to accumulate. Currently he's using test strips that expired a year ago. We haven't noticed any problems. They seem about right. I'm usually such a stickler for things like expiration dates, but we have so many test strips. Thoughts?
Any friends, or Endo might be able to provide some to a diabetic with out insurance. What type do you have?
I doubt the expiration dates mean anything . I would think its more of a gimmick to make sure people keep buying more so the company makes more money. Also, is it just me, or are the codes for all the test strips only 25 now? I remember the codes used to be different years ago but now they are all the same codes.
the expiration date absolutely means something. the active oxidase breaks down over time (faster when exposed to moisture such as humidity) and the results will become unpredictable. test strip manufacturers use probability and stability tests to determine the mean time to failure, then put a factor of safety on top.
the bottom line - old strips arent going to magically stop working the day after expiration, but given enough time (a year is enough time) they won't be accurate enough to use for insulin. if you need to use them for economic reasons, check a strip from each can with some of the test solution.
I agree with Joe. A few months old, probably not a big deal, but a year is definitely too long. I would throw them out. The insurance company has already paid for them, they aren't going to find out or freak out.
I don't know if you've already done this, but can you decrease the amount of test strips you're getting? I usually buy a box of 100 test strips and it lasts me more than enough time without risking the strips expiring. (Though as far as I know I've never needed a prescription for test strips in Canada so the system may work differently in the States? Maybe my mom got one when I was dx at 6, but I have never been asked for a prescription).