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Home Medical Tests

Home medical tests let you check for and monitor health conditions at home.

Self-Testing Kits

•  Diagnose when conditions are or are not present. These include kits that test for blood cholesterol level and blood in the stool.

•  Monitor a chronic condition. These include kits that test for blood sugar levels and blood pressure readings.

The U.S. Public Health Service and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) give tips for safe and proper use of self-testing kits. (Each of these does not apply to all tests.)

•  Don’t buy or use a test kit after the expiration date.

•  Follow storage directions on the label.

•  Note special precautions, such as not eating certain foods before testing.

•  Study the package insert. First, read it through to get a general idea of how to perform the test. Then, go back and review the instructions and diagrams until you fully understand each step.

•  Know what the test is meant to do and what it doesn’t do. Tests are not always 100% accurate.

•  Some test results rely on comparing colors. If you’re colorblind, ask someone who is not colorblind to help you read the results.

•  Follow instructions exactly. Don’t skip a step.

•  When you collect a urine sample, use a sterile or clean container.

•  Some steps need to be timed. Use a watch or clock with a second hand.

•  Note what you should do if the results are positive, negative, or unclear.

•  If something is not clear, don’t guess. Call the “800” number on the package or call a pharmacist for information.

•  Keep test kits that have chemicals out of the reach of children. Discard away used test materials as directed.

Close up image of an at home high blood pressure machine.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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