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Some blood-glucose test results could be wrong, FDA says

August 14, 2009 |  4:41 pm

Insulin If you've been using glucose test strips to monitor your blood-sugar levels, check the label and check your other medications. The Food and Drug Administration warned today that some of the strips could be inaccurate if people are taking medications that contain sugars other than glucose.

Some strips. Not all. The advisory targets those strips known as GDH-PQQ (for glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinone). Other types are fine. So for heaven's sake, don't simply stop testing your blood glucose.

In fact, most of the targeted strips are used in healthcare centers, but even so... this is something of which diabetics -- and their healthcare providers and caregivers -- should be aware.

Diabetics undergoing dialysis or who have recently had surgery are among those most likely to be affected. The FDA said in its warning that the strips can react with other types of sugars and produce a falsely high result. The patient could then take too much insulin. And as diabetics know, this could lead to low blood sugar, coma or death.

Here's the FDA warning about the products from Roche, Abbott, Home Diagnostics, Smiths Medical and Insulet Labs.  

Here's the agency's advice for patients, which lists details about the specific products.

And here's an AP story with additional context.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Insulin is necessary. But too much can be fatal.

Credit: Los Angeles Times

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