Home test kits approved by FDA

June 22, 1993|By Linell Smith

Since 1976, the Food and Drug Administration has regulated home medical tests through its Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The following categories of tests are currently approved:

* Glucose monitoring kits ($69-$169) permit diabetics to measure glucose (sugar) in their blood. The test allows them to track blood-sugar levels and adjust dietary and insulin needs. The tests are not intended to diagnose diabetes.

* Pregnancy test kits ($8-$19) detect human chorionic gonadotropin in urine. This hormone is produced by a developing placenta.

* Ovulation monitoring kits ($29-$70) measure the surge in luteinizing hormone which triggers ovulation. The primary users of this test are women attempting to get pregnant.

* Blood pressure kits ($15-$149) allow people with hypertension (high blood pressure) to test blood pressure as often as they like.

* Kits to track urinary-tract infections ($25) detect nitrite in urine. The bacteria responsible for nearly all urinary tract infections changes the nitrate in urine into nitrite.

* Hidden fecal blood kits ($77-$150) look for evidence of blood in stools. This test is intended to screen people without symptoms for colon and rectal cancer.

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