INR test strip expiration date

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Well-known member
Mar 13, 2005
How long can the test strips be used after the expiration date? What is in the strips that would make them expire?
Hi Kathleen,

According to Hemosense the strips are guaranteed to be good until the last day of the expiration month. However, I find it hard to believe a switch happens on that day. I would think they could be used a bit longer but, since there is some organic material in the test strips, they are not good indefinitely. I would probably not use them longer than a month or so after the expiration date. However, I never have them that long anyway so I am speculating.
The reagents or thromboplastin and buffers are only good for so long. A manufacterer will only be liable for results obtained from unexpired strips. Using them after the expiration may yield incorrect results. If you only have a couple that are out of date, your probably fine to use them, but if you have more then a couple, better get some fresh ones.
Last year when I was on my last 6 test strips, the expiration date was closing in. Thank goodness I had my new ones on hand. The ENTIRE container would not work, I kept getting an error message. I used a strip from my new supply, no error msg. I thought about calling Tapestry but figured I'd get the run around so I did not pursue it. This time around, if I have strips from this years script in September, I just may get test happy to avoid losing the entire container.
One trick I've used (not necessarily recommending) is reset the date on your meter to have it accept the strips that are out of date. I only do this if, as Ross said, I have a couple of strips left and don't want to waste them. This is "for what it's worth".
I thought that Coaguchek XS strips don't work after the expiry date....the date should be encoded into the computer chip that comes with each batch.

That's true with Coaguchek, but INRatio only requires you to punch in the strip code and doesn't scream at you if the strip expired. If it's too old, you'll get QC errors which is a great way to know that your strips are shot.
I have a CoaguChek XS. I've used at least 48 strips that had expired 2 years ago, and one I tested against a lab test measurement from a syringe full of blood was within 0.1 IIRC. I routinely use strips more than a year old. The manufacturer's Some instructions on strip storage here say strips should be kept in the fridge, and expire in 60 days if in the fridge, and faster if not in the fridge. None of my old strips had been kept in the fridge, tho I'll keep them there from now on.

You have to change the date on the CoaguChek if you use expired strips.
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The manufacturer's instructions on strip storage here say strips should be kept in the fridge,
just a quick point, this link is not the manufacturers guidance, but rather (as it says at the bottom of the page the guidance of : Boehringer Mannheim Corporation.

which is not Roche.

If you are storing them in the fridge then I recommend that in summer you allow the bottle to come to close to room temperature to minimise condensation forming on every strip within the bottle when opened due to the strips being below the dew point.

Myself I do this by
  1. reusing the previous bottle when empty as the "working strips" to hold some of the strips from the new bottle
  2. storing the new bottle in the fridge (because summer here is above 30C inside and the advice on the bottle is to avoid above 30C

Best Wishes
I think refrigeration of test strips is not necessary.

I just looked at the brochure that was included with my new container of test strips. It says to store the strips at 2‐30 °C. It does NOT say the strips need to be refrigerated. It does say to close the container immediately after removing a strip to avoid exposure to humidity. This is consistent with the training I received 8 weeks ago when I got my Coaguchek XS.

The document you reference above has a copyright date of 1997. Perhaps the newer strips have more stable chemicals.
My cardiologist’s office wouldn’t give me my Coaguchek xs until they trained me on it. They didn’t know that I had already bought a Coaguchek several years before and was testing myself weekly and going to the lab monthly. It took years for me to convince my Coumadin clinic that I needed to test weekly instead of monthly (so I did it at my expense and didn’t tell them).
I was supposed to be contacted by a company that would supply me with strips and meter a few weeks ago. They haven't. I'm glad that they didn't. They'd have made me test weekly (I already DO), and the meter would send the results somewhere, then they'd charge Medicare an arm, a leg, and a kidney or two.

The only thing that annoys me is that they didn't insist on sending someone to teach me how to use the meter. I was looking forward to teaching THEM how to properly use it.
I live in the San Fernando Valley, California. Some years, the temperature rises to 117 F - pretty darned hot. At that temperature our one wall air conditioner shuts off.

I haven't stored XS strips in the refrigerator, and they still worked fine.

(Years ago, I used ProTime for INR testing. These REQUIRED refrigeration -- they were shipped in a foam container packed with gels that kept them cold. They went from the shipping container into the refrigerator.)

I don't recall having to refrigerate the InRatio (a dangerous meter) strips. Coag-Sense strips don't require refrigeration (at least, not at usual room temperatures), and I haven't had problems with XS.

Sometimes it's easy to apply old information from other products to entirely different products.

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