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Baxter International, Inc., which produces the peritoneal dialysis solution Extraneal (icodextrin), has teamed with MedicAlert Foundation International to encourage peritoneal dialysis patients to add a warning to their MedicAlert bracelets regarding the fact that icodextrin may cause false readings on non-specific glucose monitors.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients, approximately 50 percent of whom have diabetes, metabolize icodextrin into maltose. Because non-specific monitors do not differentiate among the types of sugar in the bloodstream, they read the maltose as glucose and consequently indicate higher levels of blood glucose than is actually the case. As a result, doctors may unknowingly misdiagnose hyperglycemia or administer incorrect doses of insulin to control blood sugars.
Baxter's collaboration with MedicAlert involves adding a warning to MedicAlert bracelets to alert healthcare providers that they must use glucose-specific testing and monitoring systems when dealing with PD patients. Baxter maintains a website where patients and healthcare providers can go to learn more about peritoneal dialysis treatments with Extraneal and the necessity for glucose-specific testing and monitoring.