Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

CWD Answers Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

September 1, 2001

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Peru, Indiana, USA:

In the past, there were glucose strips on the market that could be evaluated by comparing the color of the strip following wipe-off of the blood to the printed color scale on the label. This was especially nice during a mountain bike tour since the bloody meter was not needed for an approximate check. Roche took this type of strip off the market at the end of 2000, and I am looking desperately for such strips since they made life easy.

All these fancy new devices are a giant step backward not just for the reason that they are inconvenient during this sport activity, besides other redundant built in checks of blood sugar.

Where can I find the old fashioned visual (but reliable) blood glucose test strips?


From: DTeam Staff

You cannot find a strip that is no longer manufactured by the manufacturer unless you locate a pharmacy that may have some of these same strips. Check the expiration date, of course.

Additional comments from Dr. John Schulga:

The strips are made by BM (Boehringer Mannheim), and, as far as I am aware, are still available.

Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

According to our Roche representative, Chemstrips are still available.

Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

I agree with much of your thoughts! People “focus” on the number often than rather appreciating the bigger picture of whether the value is “low”, “normal,” or “high.” The old Chemstrips bG were fairly convenient but time consuming.

If you are very active, I’d suggest you consider one of the compact, quick reading meters such as the LifeScan FastTake or Ultra, or a meter that has the strips “built in” like a Dex meter from Bayer. The Ultra gives a reading in five seconds. Whether you use a color-coded strip that you must wipe or a meter, you still will need two hands and take a smidge of time.


[Editor’s comment: While these strips are still available, they are difficult to find, and take up to three minutes to get a reading the reliability of which is highly dependent on technique. I would suggest that you visit and carefully look at our product reviews of Blood Glucose Meters.

The newest meters are very small, easy to use, and very fast (some allowing for reading in less that five seconds). For example, the The Glucometer Dex meter, uses a disk-shaped cartridge stored within the meter which holds ten test strips. With each test strip held safely inside the meter, there’s less to carry and less chance of losing or dropping the test strip. In addition, some of the new meters do allow for visual reading of the strip. I think that you will find that many of these new meters will work for you, if you give them a chance.