Secondhand test strips may have been tampered with and unsafe to use. For example, the expiration dates might have been changed or covered up, the FDA said.
Some pre-owned test strips also may not have been cleared by the FDA for sale in the United States. Signs of unsafe strips include instructions that aren’t in English or strips that look different than other strips of the same brand.
The FDA recommends buying new, unopened vials of glucose test strips designed specifically for your meter.
“Talk to your health care provider if you are not sure where to buy test strips for your glucose meter or if you cannot afford to buy the test strips recommended for use with your meter,” the agency advised.
The FDA also said to make sure you get the most from your test strips. Be sure to use the control solution that comes with your meter to check accuracy as directed.
Also, use your meter to test your blood sugar in front of your doctor or diabetes educator to ensure you’re doing everything properly.
And, make sure you clean and disinfect your glucose meter as directed by the manufacturer, the FDA suggested.