Monthly Archives: October 2010

Blood Sugar Management: Testing

Making Sure Your Blood Glucose Readings Are Accurate

You should perform quality-control checks to make sure that your blood glucose readings are accurate and reliable. Several things can reduce the accuracy of your meter reading even if it appears to still work. For instance, the meter may have been dropped or its electrical components may have worn out. Humidity or heat may damage test strips. It is even possible that your testing technique may have changed slightly. Quality control checks should be done on a regular basis according to the meter manufacturer’s instructions. There are two kinds of quality control checks:

Check Using “Test Quality Control Solutions” or “Electronic Controls”. Test quality control solutions and electronic controls are both used to check the operation of your meter and your blood glucose readings. Test quality control solutions check the accuracy of the meter and test strip. They may also give an indication of how well you use your system. Electronic controls only check that the meter is working properly.

Test quality control solutions have known glucose values. Essentially, when you run a quality control test, you substitute the test solution for blood. The difference is that you know what the result should be.

To test your meter with a quality control solution, follow the instructions that accompany the solution. These will guide you to place a certain amount of solution on your test strip and run it through your meter. The meter will give you a reading for the amount of glucose in the sample. Compare this number to the number listed on the test quality control solution. If the results of your test match the values given in the quality control solution labeling, you can be assured the entire system (meter and test strip) is working properly. If results are not correct, the system may not be accurate—contact the manufacturer for advice.

Manufacturers sometimes include quality control solution with their meter. However, most often you must order it separately from a manufacturer or pharmacy.

Some glucose meters also use electronic controls to make sure the meter is working properly. With this method, you place a cartridge or a special “control” test strip in the meter and a signal will appear to indicate if the meter is working.

Take Your Meter with You to The Health Care Provider’s Office. This way you can check your blood glucose readings while your health care provider watches your technique to make sure you are using the meter correctly. Your healthcare provider will also take a sample of blood and evaluate it using a routine laboratory method. If values obtained on the glucose meter match the laboratory method, you and your healthcare provider will see that your meter is working well and that you are using good technique. If results do not match the laboratory method results, then results you get from your meter may be inaccurate and you should discuss the issue with your healthcare provider and contact the manufacturer if necessary.


Diabetes Alert: Avandia Banned In India “With Immediate Effect”

The Government of India has banned the production and import of diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) close on the heels of the US and European Union restricting its use following reports of the drug causing cardiac problems, reports the Press Trust of India, a government supported news agency.
The decision was taken on Thursday at a meeting of a special committee formed to look into whether there is a need to ban the drug or not. The committee had been formed by the Drug Technical Advisory Committee of India on November 9 last year and had members representing the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) as well as the Director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute and officials of the Indian Medical Association.
“The production and import of the drug has been banned,” Dr Anoop Mishra, diabetes expert and member of the committee said. Only the existing stock which is in the shelves will be sold, he added.
India has over 50 million diabetics. The drug which is sold overseas as Avandia is used by an estimated 7—10 million people in India where it is sold as Windamet and Windia by GlaxoSmithKline. The generic versions of rosiglitazone are made by Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, among 30 other firms.
Rosiglitazone is an anti-diabetic drug in the thiazolidinedione class of drugs. It works as an insulin sensitizer, by binding a component in fat cells and making the cells more responsive to insulin.
The diabetes drug market in India was estimated to be worth Rs 1,350 crore (in 2008) and is steadily growing at close to 20 per cent, which is almost three times more than the global growth rate, according to International Diabetes Federation.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already restricted the use of Avandia (rosiglitazone) after studies suggested its use could increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
The FDA said drug companies have to develop a “restricted access programme” that would limit the use of the drug only to new Type 2 diabetes patients.
Meanwhile, doctors in the western Indian city of Pune have asked diabetes patients to stop using medicine that contains rosiglitazone, reports the Indian Express. The government has now officially banned this anti-diabetic drug, though the controversy about its side effects had erupted two years ago.
“The anti-diabetic drug was banned by the European Medicines Agency last month for its adverse reactions,” said Dr C S Yajnik, head of diabetes centre at KEM Hospital. The US FDA had restricted its use. The Drug Controller General of India has now banned the use of the drug.
According to Dr Uday Phadke, diabetologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, the drug that is sold as ‘Rosicon, Reglit, Windia, Windamet, Enselin, Rezult and even combination form of Rosicon G’ in India was sparingly used. The use of anti-diabetic drugs containing rosiglitazone formulation had dwindled since the last two years due to reports of its cardio-vascular-related side effects. “We have had no problems among our group of patients who have been taking the drugs, but now we will have to discontinue it,” said Phadke.
Yajnik has put up a circular at his clinic informing patients to stop using these drugs. According to several doctors, the ban on the drug was long overdue. Several private hospitals had adopted a cautious approach and stopped prescribing the controversial drug. Rosiglitazone is sold by GSK, which sells the drug as Avandia overseas and Windia in India.
Cardiologist Dr A Chandorkar said patients who are on anti-diabetes drug containing rosiglitazone should stop the medication immediately. While the drug does bring about a marginal improvement in controlling the sugar levels, it can lead to other cardio-vascular side effects. Cardiologist Dr Jagdish Hiremath too said it was up to the doctors not to prescribe the drugs as the patients were not really aware of the ban.
“Type II diabetes, characterised by high blood sugar, is the most common form of diabetes and is increasingly believed to be a lifestyle disorder,” Yajnik said, adding that according to rough estimates, at least two hundred thousand people would be diabetic in Pune.

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