Do expired urine test strips still work?

Posted by Amelia on December 20, 2022
Table of Contents


    Urine test strips are a simple, quick way to test for the presence of certain substances in your urine. They're used by doctors, medical professionals and even at-home patients. However, you might be wondering if expired urine test strips still work. In this article we'll cover:

    Why expired urine test strips might not work

    How long do they last?

    Are there any side effects of using outdated urine test strips?

    Can you use old urine test strips at home?

    If all this sounds familiar, keep reading! We'll answer all these questions and more below:

    What is a urine test strip?

    A urine test strip is a small piece of paper that is dipped into urine to detect the presence of drugs or other substances. There are many different kinds of urine test strips, for example, some detect drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin while others can be used to detect pregnancy or blood sugar levels.

    When you receive your drug test results from the company you applied with or if your doctor orders one for you at their office--you'll see that they will include information about how long after drinking alcohol (if any) before taking it so that it doesn't interfere with results.

    How long do urine test strips last?

    How long do urine test strips last?

    Urine test strips have a shelf life of three years, but they are only good for about six months after you open them. That means if you buy a box of 10 and use one strip per month, then by the time you've used all ten, they're already expired! If this happens to you, don't fret--there are ways around having to throw out perfectly good tests because they're past their prime.

    Are there any side effects of using expired urine test strips?

    There are some side effects of using expired urine test strips.

    • The accuracy of the test results may not be as reliable, because old urine test strips may not be as sensitive and specific to detect drugs in your system. This means that if you use expired urine test strips, it's possible that they could give you wrong results (a false negative or positive).
    • Old urine test strips can also cause some side effects such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness if there's something wrong with them.

    Can you use outdated urine test strips at home?

    You may be wondering if you can still use old urine test strips at home. The answer is no, and here's why:

    • When you buy new urine test strips, they come with an expiration date printed on them. This means that they will be good for a certain amount of time before they start to go bad and give you false results. If you have an expired urine test kit in your bathroom cabinet that hasn't been used yet and decide to give it another try after several months have passed since its original purchase date, there's no guarantee that the results will be accurate at all--and even if they are accurate, it could mean more money spent on tests because now there are two kits needed instead of just one!
    • In addition to this issue with accuracy (or lack thereof), buying new supplies also saves money over time because buying in bulk is always less expensive than purchasing individual items each month/week/day etc.. Think about how much money we spend on things like toilet paper or toothpaste...those things don't go bad over time so why should our testing supplies?

    It's best not to use old urine test strips at home.

    It's best not to use old urine test strips at home. While there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of your test results, one of the biggest is how long you've had the strip in storage. The longer you store it and let it sit around, the more likely it is that your urine sample will have changed over time and become something other than what it was initially intended for--making this an unreliable method of testing. If a police officer suspects that you're driving under the influence and pulls over your car, they may ask him or herself: "How long do I have before this driver becomes dangerous?" The answer could be anywhere between five minutes and two hours!

    If they decide on five minutes (which would be generous), then chances are good that any expired test strips found inside will give false results because they were used too close together without being refrigerated beforehand. You could even get penalized for using expired urine test strips because law enforcement officers know how important accuracy really matters here when deciding whether someone gets arrested or not


    We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of using fresh urine test strips. They're an easy way to monitor your health and can help you detect diseases in their early stages, so it's important not to waste them by using old or expired strips.
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