Alternate site blood sugar testing

Learn about alternate site testing, its benefits, and how to do it safely and effectively.

20 February 2020
Alternate site testing hero

Whether testing alternate sites or at the fingertip, try the Accu-Chek® FastClix lancing device—the only 1-click lancing device with a drum.

Some blood glucose meters allow you to use a blood sample from a nonfingertip or alternate site such as your palm, forearm or upper arm.1 Because the skin of these areas contains fewer nerves than the fingertip, alternate site testing may be more comfortable.2

It's important to know that while blood from your fingertip can be tested at any time, there are times when alternate site testing may not give you the most accurate result.

When its okay—and not okay—to check from alternate sites

Alternate site testing should only be used when your blood sugar is stable. For example:3

  • Immediately before a meal
  • When fasting
  • Near bedtime

Always check from your fingertip, however, when blood sugar may be changing:3

  • Following a meal, when blood sugar is rising quickly
  • After exercise
  • Whenever you think your blood sugar might be low or falling

Important alternate site testing notes

If you're considering alternate site testing to check your blood glucose, please remember:

  • Never ignore the symptoms of low or high blood sugar.
  • If the results of a blood glucose test don't match the way you feel, confirm with a fingertip test. If the fingertip result still doesn't seem to reflect the way you feel, get in touch with your healthcare professional.
  • Please talk to your healthcare professional before using sites other than your fingertip for testing blood sugar.

Sign up for Accu-Chek news and offers

Get emails sent directly to your inbox with the latest updates and deals on Accu-Chek products.


1Talk with your healthcare professional before deciding if alternate site testing is right for you.

2New Scientist. Fingertips and forehead are most sensitive to pain. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2016.

3Bina DM, et. al. Clinical impact of prandial state, exercise, and site preparation on the equivalence of alternative-site blood glucose testing. Diabetes Care. 2003; 26:981-985. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2016.

Related Products