Why Do Glucose Test Strips Expire?

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Glucose test strips expire for three main reasons:

1 – They have reached the expiry date stipulated by the manufacturer
2 – They have been opened and the strips exposed for quite some time
3 – They have been subjected to unreasonably harsh climatic conditions.

EXPIRY DATE: The most obvious reason why Glucose test strips expire is that their expiry date is due. Most products you can find in the market today have expiry dates. Glucose test strips are no exception. Some expiry dates say “best before…” This means that after the expiry date, the product will still be ok but not as effective as before. Others say “do not use after…” This means after the expiry date, the object should be disposed of. Some meters are very smart and know the expiry date assigned to your glucose test strips and will not allow you to use the strips if the expiry date has passed.

EXPOSURE: another reason why Glucose test strips expire is because the vial has been broken for a long time. Once the vial has been opened and the test strips exposed a gradual process of deterioration starts and consequently leads to expiry. Exposed test strips can last for 30 days while others will last for up to 90 days before they go beyond usage.

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS: One of the most under looked reasons why Glucose test strips expire is exposure to poor climatic conditions. Glucose test strips deteriorate and expired when not properly stored. General storage guidelines require that they be stored at room temperature, refrigeration should be avoided at all cost. Temperature and moisture play a great role in keeping Glucose test strips expire.

However, expiry is not the only thing that can render glucose test strips useless. High pressure especially during transportation may cause the strips to break. Exposure to dust can also render the Glucose test strips unusable.

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