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Recall of Defective Glucose Test Strips

FDA Says Faulty Strips Could Give Diabetes Patients Inaccurate Reading of Glucose Levels

Advice to Glucose Test Strip Users continued...

For people who purchased test strips in retail stories or online, the FDA recommends:

  • Calling Abbott for a replacement of the affected strips. Abbott will send you unaffected Precision Xtra, Optium, OptiumEZ, and ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips at no charge.
  • While waiting for the replacement strips to arrive, use an alternate method to measure blood glucose (such as a different test system) or purchase at least two weeks' worth of new, unaffected strips while waiting for replacement strips.
  • If you purchase Precision Xtra, Optium, OptiumEZ, and ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips in a store or online, check to be sure these are from unaffected lots. Ask a pharmacist to help you.
  • If the only test strips available to you are from affected lots, do not stop testing your blood glucose.

But do take the following two precautions to reduce the chance of erroneous reading:

  1. Check the amount of time it takes for your blood glucose meter to start the "countdown" after you first apply blood to the test strip. Start timing immediately after blood first makes contact with the test strip.  If your meter takes longer than five (5) seconds to start the countdown, test strip is defective and the result should not be used. Check the time for each test strip you use because all of the strips in a package may not be affected to the same degree.
  2. If any reading from a strip appears lower than you would expect or does not seem to match the way you are feeling, you should contact your health care provider.

Pay special attention to signs and symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia):

  • Symptoms of high blood sugar include excessive thirst, excessive urination, blurred vision, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are not feeling well, contact your health care provider immediately.
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar may include trembling, excessive sweating, weakness, hunger, confusion, and headache. Some people may have no symptoms at all before they develop unconsciousness or seizures. It is important to treat low blood sugars promptly to avoid loss of consciousness or a seizure. If you are unable to obtain unaffected strips, you should contact your health care provider for advice on how to treat these symptoms before they occur.

 

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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