Incorrectly storing blood glucose testing strips can lead to inaccurate readings, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The new MHRA report focuses on the storage of GlucoMen LX Sensor test strips. It concludes that strips should be enclosed within the original vial supplied and immediately closed if the strips are stored in a humid environment.

Ideally, though, strips should not be stored in humid environments. Instead, they should be kept at room temperature and not refrigerated, left in direct sunlight or exposed to humidity.

Strips can be rendered unusable if they are kept in these conditions, and improper test strip storage can result in “false highs”. These are readings that provide an inaccurate reflection of blood glucose levels at the time.

When people with type 1 diabetes receive false highs, they might inject more insulin than they actually need, and people with type 2 diabetes might take more medication. The risks are significant, and the MHRA recommend that any problems with test strips to be reported to the Yellow Card Scheme. This is a platform for users to provide feedback about medical devices.

Furthermore, test strips that are damaged, dirty or covered in any food or liquid should never be used as this can also lead to inaccurate results.

John Wilkinson, Director of Medical Devices for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “It is vital that people check that their vials are closed properly according to the instructions for use.

“Leaving strips exposed in high humidity may result in falsely high readings, which could lead to them taking an incorrect dose of medication.

“We continue to encourage people to report any issues involving medical devices to the MHRA via our Yellow Card Scheme.”