Home Testing

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Quick Guide

Home testing offers a way for you to test for medical conditions in the privacy of your own home and to monitor chronic health conditions. If you use home tests, however, protect yourself against the possibility of unapproved tests, false results, and your own lack of training by following this guidance.

Make sure that the test you are purchasing bears a CE mark. The European Union and the UK regulatory authorities require manufacturers to meet stringent controls.

Check the expiration date. Do not buy tests if they have expired. The chemicals in the test may have lost their effectiveness, and the results may not be valid.

Follow the package directions on where and how to store the test. Don't leave temperature-sensitive tests in conditions that don't meet storage requirements.

Note and follow any special precautions before performing the test. For example, check to see when the test is to be performed (morning, evening), or under what conditions (fasting, no physical exertion, etc.).

Perform the test EXACTLY as instructed. If you have questions or are at all unsure about how to use the test, consider talking to your doctor.

Make sure you understand the meaning of the test results, and what to do about them. If you do not, talk to your doctor.

Consult the following agencies for additional information. These are general links that will require additional searching for relevant information.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
         UK agency with website containing information on home tests (in vitro diagnostics).
National Library for Health
         Searchable database of medical information.
BBC Health
         Searchable website.
Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)
        USA medical device approvals. Daily updates available. Searchable.

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