August 17, 2009

FDA warns of glucose monitoring technology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning against using some glucose monitors by patients receiving medicines containing non-glucose sugars.

The FDA said its warning involves using glucose monitors that require specific test strips.

Non-glucose sugars contained in some therapeutic products such as peritoneal dialysis solutions and certain immunoglobulins can falsely elevate glucose results, which may prompt excessive insulin administration, the FDA said. These therapeutic products, which are labeled to indicate that they may interfere with this particular glucose monitoring technology, are mostly used in patients with serious medical conditions, including kidney failure and moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.

The FDA said the devices that use glucose test strips containing glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinine -- the chemical that reacts with the non-glucose sugars contained in some therapeutic products -- might produce false high test result.

Most such devices, the federal agency said, are used in healthcare facilities, which should instead use a laboratory assay to measure a patient's glucose if the patient is also receiving an interfering product.