Diabetes test strips are an essential to people with diabetes. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential for maintaining good health, and there could be severe health consequences when the glucose levels in the blood are not properly regulated.
When the FDA issued a warning on Wednesday to patients that have diabetes that about as many as 62 million glucose test strips used to measure levels of blood sugar could potentially give incorrect, and abnormally high readings of blood sugar levels, many diabetics were alarmed.
The recall was announced by Nova Diabetes Care on Friday. Incorrect readings can lead to potentially dangerous errors for patients taking medications. When levels appear to be too high, people might take medication that they don’t need, and this could have negative health effects.
The strips that are being recalled include the brand name products called Nova Max Blood Glucose Test Strips and Nova Max Plus Glucose Meter Kits. The lots of strips that are affected are distributed in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and about six other countries. The products are sold through websites and retail stores.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration reported that the strips have been contaminated with a type of chemical that is used during manufacturing. It has been shown to interfere with readings. Regulators at the FDA are cooperating with the company to determine the cause of the issue and ensure that it is properly corrected.
For patients that are concerned that they may have gotten a batch of these test strips, there is a website to visit to determine if their strips have been recalled: www.novacares.com/news/nova-max-recall.php. There is also a hotline to the company that they can call: 800-681-7390.
Test strips can be returned and replaced for no charge, and the company is encouraging both patients and health care providers to pay attention for symptoms and signs that blood sugar levels might be too low or too high. Some of these include feeling excessively thirsty, weak, trembling, headaches and nausea.
Alberto Gutierrez, the director of the FDA’s office of in vitro diagnostics has said that it is essential that patients that use these test strips stop using them right away as false readings could result in dangerous health risks.