Expired test strips: do they work?

I was also looking for a thread on expired test strips. I only make an assumption you have covered this but didn’t see a thread. Is my search flawed or have you really not explored expired test strips? (I assume I just did a bad search.) Or is it possible this one was too obvious to even have its own thread?


My guess is that they works just fine. But it is just an opinion. We haven’t had any expire, so unless someone has some expired ones laying around…

I have never used an expired strip…

Do you know why? I test about 20 times a day. How would a strip ever survive in my house long enough to expire!


This would be a great set of experiments to try. I know we have used slightly expired test strips before (with no trouble) but we have the same problem as Eric - we run through them so fast we never have any outdated ones.

My guess is that most are fine but some are not, and it would suck if you had a mixed batch with some good and some not. Probably storage conditions are the key deciding factor…

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I have some Precision Xtra strips here that expired in 2014. Quite a few of them, actually. I could test a bunch of times and compare them to my unexpired Contour Next strips. The results will determine whether I toss them or keep them for emergency use (which I’ve been wondering about anyway&mash;updating the earthquake kit!).


That would be a great experiment! And I feel that 2014 is a perfect expiration date: quite a ways past but not so ancient that it dooms the strips.

I think @TiaG is right about the need to test a good number of strips to be able to have a valid experiment.

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Agreed with time of expiration however comparing one brand to another brand introduces a significant variable.


I probably have about 200 of them. I was looking at them the other day wondering what to do with them. I’ve kept them around all this time, but since strips are covered by our provincial government, I’ve never needed to use them. I like them for swimming (they are foil wrapped), but wasn’t sure whether to trust them or to buy some new strips. So I’ll test a bunch of them today against my Contour Next (which I know is always dead-on accurate) and see what I get. I’m not a math person, so maybe some more mathematically-inclined people could run some statistics. :slight_smile:


Yeah, that is a limitation, but I presume you’d be comparing the variance between the strips themselves, not comparing the meters. Like someone else mentioned, I suspect the problem with expired strips is that they might be in the right ballpark, but I think they’d be a lot more variable in the results than unexpired strips.

At least the Freestyle meters and the Contour Next meters have both been ranked at the top as far as accuracy goes. So it’s not like comparing it to something that has a poor record for being an accurate meter.

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So, actually, if you ignore the fact that the Contour Next One is about a mmol/L higher than the Precision Neo, which could just be meter variance that you’d get comparing any two meters, this is pretty impressive as far as I’m concerned. Granted, only five tests because my finger got too fatigued (I used the same blood drop for all tests).

Neo One
4.3 5.4
4.2 5.5
4.2 5.4
4.4 5.3
4.4 5.3

(Disclaimer: I am not advocating anyone use expired strips. It could be dangerous. Just because these seem fairly accurate doesn’t mean any others would be!)


That is pretty darn awesome!

@Jen, I will track all your results on a spreadsheet. When you are done, I will publish the statistical analysis of the results.

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I felt like maybe I was a bit low (I started metformin yesterday, so that’s started to kick in). All were from the same fingerstick except the last one. Still maintaining the one mmol/L difference between meters. I’ll try the next batch when I get a spike or a real low.

Neo One
3.1 4.3
3.2 4.3
3.2 4.2
3.1 4.3
3.3 4.5


Interesting, about 1.5 mmol/L difference between the two this time, but otherwise still quite consistent between tests. I tested on my Contour Next USB to see what it gave me, and it said 6.3 mmol/L. I ate lunch recently, so I’m inclined to believe that the higher reading is correct. It’s too bad I don’t have some un-expired Precision strips to compare to. The interesting part of this is that, since some meters read lower than others, I imagine that it could have an impact on people’s A1c and overall control.

Neo One
4.9 6.3
4.7 6.3
4.8 6.3
4.6 6.2
4.9 6.2

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@Jen, I am curious, did you notice the discrepancy between the two when you switched meters? Do you think this is a meter-based difference, or a time-based one?

I just tried to look on Amazon.ca for new Precision Neo strips but could not find any.

Yes, each time I switch meters I notice a difference. And in fact, I think that the fact that the Contour Next reads higher (in general, at least I’ve found) than One Touch is one reason my A1c actually improved.

For some reason we don’t have any deals on Amazon like you guys do. I saw 50 strips for $23 (Canadian) on Amazon.com, but they don’t ship to Canada. On Canadian sites, all I can find are 100 strips for $78. Given that these expired strips are performing pretty well, I think I’ll probably use them for swimming and my backup meter (but then, since my control is so tight right now, the 1.0 - 1.5 mmol/L difference may actually negatively affect me, so I haven’t totally decided yet!).

Ok, you inspired me to go past the cobwebs and find what was hiding in the back of my closet. I found the following expired items:

Accu-chek multiclix lancets, exp 10-2015.
A1C Now, box of 2 only 1 left. Expired 09-2013.
BD syringes 8mms, 31g. No exp. Rec 12-2013
Contour next strips, exp 05-2015.
1 partial box of Medtronic Sof-sensors. 11-2010.

Anyone want some Sof-sensors?

I will do some comparisons of the contour next strips when I get my shipment from AZ this week for new strips.


That’s awesome!

I can try and maintain a spreadsheet for all expired strips if I can think of a way to record and display results that makes sense.

5 posts were split to a new topic: MultiClix vs FastClix lancet devices

And what about ketone strips? I think I have some expired (probably >5 years) Precision Xtra Ketone strips.

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