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Warning over inaccurate glucose meters

The UK drug regulator has issued an urgent alert over inaccurate blood glucose monitors which have caused patients to overdose themselves with insulin.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is urging GPs to check their own meters and to take steps to identify patients using the now recalled devices.

The agency warned a number of different meters were prone to displaying readings in unfamiliar units that might make blood glucose appear to be 18 times higher than it really was.

A spokesperson said the MHRA had decided to act after receiving a 'considerable number' of adverse reports ­ amid fears that patients could risk hypoglycaemic comas by changing their treatment regime following a false meter reading.

The agency found machines were switching from mmol/l to mg/dl, because of low battery levels or users inadvertently changing units.

Serial numbers of the meters involved ­ Abbott Diabetes Care FreeStyle, FreeStyle Mini, Medi-Sense Optium Xceed, LifeScan OneTouch, InDuo and Pocket-Scan ­ are available from the MHRA.

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