Can I Reuse Diabetic Test Strips?

Diabetic test strips are one of the biggest expenses in diabetes care. People who are on a fixed income need to watch every penny that they spend, and diabetic test strips can take a huge chunk out of their monthly income. Although those with type 2 diabetes that is under control may not need to test their glucose level more than once each day, other people need to use a test strip several times each day. It is a common question to ask whether these tiny strips can be reused. Many different techniques have been tried, and there are even YouTube videos of people attempting to do this.

Unfortunately, they found that if you test your glucose level with a test strip that has already been used and again test it with a new strip, you are likely to get different results. It makes managing your diabetes much more difficult to do.

Accuracy of Test Results Compromised

It would be difficult to get a diabetic test strip in the condition that it could be reused and still provide an accurate blood sugar reading for you. Many people have tried, but with the low prices of generic or store brand test strips, there is no reason to even try to reuse them.

Companies that manufacture test strips are not just telling consumers not to reuse the strips so that they can sell more of them. They know that they do not provide accurate results when reused. If you reuse a test strip and believe that your glucose level is okay, but your blood sugar is actually high, you could develop some of the dangerous side effects caused by diabetes.

Nipro Diagnostics, maker of the Prestige Smart System, writes on their website a warning to never reuse test strips. The company also warns not to wipe them with water, alcohol, or any cleaner. They add not to try to remove blood and reuse because of the inaccurate results that are likely to happen.

Low-Cost Alternative

If buying new test strips for your diabetes management is becoming a financial burden to you, the better alternative is to buy an inexpensive blood glucose monitor from your local grocery or drug store. Store brand glucose meters and test strips are very inexpensive. Many stores sell boxes of test strips for as low as $4 per box. Of course, you will need to see how many test strips are in a box to see if this is really a great deal.

Pharmacists have a lot of knowledge about diabetes and are there to help you choose the best glucose monitor that fits your needs. If you need to find the monitor that takes the lowest cost test strips, ask your pharmacist for this information.

Photo: Pexels

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