Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beware with blood glucose meters

The Spanish Agency for Drugs and Health Care Products has issued a safety note on June 18 warning on the risk of possible errors in measurements of glucose obtained with some blood glucose meters using the enzyme as a reagent pyrroloquinoline quinone glucose dehydrogenase (GDH-PQQ ), interfering in these results some medications.

Meters that use this enzyme are Accu-Chek Sensor®, Accu-Chek Compact Plus®, Accu-Chek Compact®, Accu-Chek Aviva®, Accu-Chek Aviva Nano® , Accu-Chek Voicemate®, FreeStyle Lite® and Freestyle Freedom Lite®.

Drugs wich may interfere are Extraneal® , Orencia®, Octagamocta® and Adept® 4%.

This same warning has been published by the FDA in August 2009 (FDA Public Health Notification: Potentially Fatal Errors with GDH-PQQ * Glucose Monitoring Technology).

Both notes report that the use of these meters in patients undergoing treatment with outlined in the table medications, can produce abnormally high results detecting substances other than glucose that are generated from the administration of these drugs.

Worth noting that these drugs are not used routinely in primary care settings because the conditions for which are shown are monitoring, most of them specialized care. These patients are those undergoing peritoneal dialysis (Extraneal), patients with certain immune deficiencies situations or undergoing bone marrow transplantation (Octagamocta), patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Orencia), or patients undergoing abdominal surgery (Adept).

It is important therefore not to use these blood glucose meters in these patients.

With respect to the use of blood glucose meters, we also note that a valid result can come conditioned by other aspects of this process:

• Assessing the need for prior calibration of the meter.
• Improper storage of test strips.
• Ambient temperature.
• Insufficient blood volume.

Also, each meter has different methodologies for testing. Therefore, it is not advisable to make comparisons of results between different commercial laboratories.

Posted by Juan José Jurado
English version by Jesús Moreno

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