How the Drug Works
Specially treated test strips indicate the blood glucose concentration. Regular monitoring of glucose aids in the control of diabetes. It will help determine medication, dietary and exercise needs and help decrease the complications (eg, neuropathies, retinopathies) and problems during pregnancy.
To monitor blood glucose levels In diabetics. To aid in control of the condition.
To aid in determining medication regimes, diet, and exercise programs for diabetics.
To help prevent development of complications during pregnancy.
Specimen Collection and Handling: All blood glucose test strips require a finger or earlobe stick. An automatic lancet device punctures the skin to obtain a single drop of blood. A manual lancet is more painful and laceration size and puncture depth cannot be predicted. These are important because they control the volume of the drop of blood. The size of the test pad varies among manufacturers. It must be completely covered with blood.
A single drop of blood is placed on the test strip. Begin timing when the test pad is covered completely. In some tests, the blood drop is wiped from the test strip at the end of the timed period. Timing is critical. The wiping or blotting technique and the recommended tissue paper or cotton for blotting may vary by manufacturer. The test strip is placed in the glucose meter. The results are read from the meter display. The visual test is read against the color key.
Storage and handling: A bottle of test strips can be used for 4 months after being opened. Always write the date the bottle is first opened on the bottle label. Never use the test strips past the expiration date indicated on the bottle label or foil packet. Use of strips beyond the expiration date may yield inaccurate results.
Keep unused test strips in the original bottle with cap tightly closed. Always replace the cap immediately and tightly. Never transfer test strips to another bottle. Leave the drying agent in the bottie. The drying agent absorbs moisture and keeps the strips dry. Never put cotton or other material in the bottle. Do not use discolored strips. Keep your fingers or other objects from touching the test pads before testing. Touching the pads could cause inaccurate test results.
Keep strip vial away from small children. A child could choke on the cap or drying agent, which could be harmful if swallowed. Store at room temperature (59° to 86°F). Do not store bottle in direct sunlight. Do not freeze. Do not store in cabinets with bleach or products containing bleach.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or planning to take any overthe-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements while testing for blood glucose. The following drugs and drug classes may interact with the test to cause questionable results:
Acetaminophen (eg, Tylenol)
Aspirin (large amounts)
Methyldopa (large amounts)
Dopamine (large amounts)
Guidelines for Use
Follow instructions on the label exactly.
Monitor blood for glucose as prescribed. Monitor urine ketones if your blood glucose level has been greater than 300 mg/dL for 2 consecutive blood glucose determinations.
Blood glucose monitoring is recommended to achieve normal blood sugar levels. Keep track of your blood glucose results so that adjustments in your treatment program can be made more easily.
Participate in a thorough diabetes education program so that you understand diabetes and all aspects of its treatment, including diet, exercise, personal hygiene and how to self-monitor blood glucose.
Apply the blood drop, time the reaction, blot the test pads and read the test results the same way each time you do the test.
Diabetics – Monitor glucose: When you have a cold, the flu or any other kind of illness. When you “feel” the signs of low or high blood sugar (greater than 240 mg/dL) or when your blood sugar is well over the range your doctor has set for you (if you do blood glucose monitoring). When you are under unusual physical or emotional stress. During pregnancy or after a testing pattern has been established with your doctor or educator.
Have all the materials you need before beginning the test: Test strips, timer (stop watch or watch with a second hand), sterile lancet, cotton or rayon balls, alcohol wipes, and glucose meter.
Color vision is needed to properly read visual, but not meter, test results. Have someone else confirm the visual test results if in doubt.
Quality control and sample tests may be required before testing.
If test results seem questionable, check expiration date on the label, repeat the test using a new test strip, run controls, check glucose meter and check procedure (timing).
If you are unable to identify the cause of a low or high test result, contact your doctor or diabetes educator. Know the symptoms of hypergly cemia (high blood sugar), which include thirst, hunger and frequent and excessive urination and those of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which include trembling, sweating, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, and tingling or numbness around mouth or fingertips.
If you experience stomach pain, vomiting or difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately.
Individuals with high uric acid, bilirubin cholesterol, triglyceride or hematocrit levels may have lowered glucose levels.
Diabetes education may be obtained through your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association.