Be sure your patients with diabetes are aware of a recent FDA advisory regarding the danger of using certain glucose meters or test strips when taking medications containing particular nonglucose sugars.

Advice for Patients: Serious Errors with Certain Blood Glucose Monitoring Test Strips (available at /PatientAlerts/ucm177189.htm, accessed September 14, 2009) advises patients who are using drug products or therapies that contain maltose, galactose, or xylose never to use glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinone (GDH-PQQ) glucose test strips or meters. The dual usage can produce a falsely elevated glucose reading, possibly leading the person to take too much insulin.

Patients on dialysis and those who have had recent surgery may be more likely than others to be using such products or therapies and should employ a different type of glucose monitoring technology.

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Products or therapies containing nonglucose sugars are listed in the FDA announcement. The type of glucose monitoring technology recommended may be printed on their instruction booklets or boxes. If not, advise the patient to consult a pharmacist or the manufacturer.

Remind your patients to alert you if their glucose readings do not reflect the way they feel.