Frequently Asked Questions on Test Strips


Can you use test strips after they expire?

Enzymes in the glucose strips break down over time. The activity of enzymes can decrease following exposure to humidity or extreme temperatures. This can alter the accuracy of glucose readings even before a scheduled expiration date. Subsequently, errors can begin to appear with rogue readings of either a high or low nature. Because the enzymes break down, manufacturers therefore place an expiration date on the strips.

How long do blood glucose test strips last?

Diabetes Test Strips are good for 6 months after you open the bottle or until the date of expiry, whichever comes first. The strips have an 18 month life span and it is estimated that once they arrive at the retailer they have 14 to 16 months left.

How do blood glucose test strips work?
  • To test for glucose you must drop a sample of blood taken from the finger or an alternate site by placing on the strip
  • This is done by poking the skin with a needle called a lancet
  • The lancet pricks the finger which allows the sample of blood to flow right onto the glucose strip
  • Once the blood sample has made it on to the glucose strip, a device called a glucose meter is used to measure the glucose in the blood. In each test strip, there is a chemical called glucose oxidase
  • This glucose oxidase reacts with the glucose in the blood sample and is created into an acid called gluconic acid
  • This current is then able to read and determine how much glucose is in the sample of blood on the testing strip
  • The number is then relayed on the screen of the glucose testing meter 
Is it safe to buy OTC glucose test strips?

Yes, you can purchase blood glucose test strips over the counter online without any prescription.

Can glucose test strips be reused?

No, Glucose test strips can not be reused. It becomes difficult to get a diabetic test strip in the condition that it can be reused and still provide an accurate blood sugar reading for you. In case 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.