Pros & Cons of the Freestyle Libre2 14 Day Continuous Glucose Monitor
Unique Advantages: Pros
- No calibration needed
- Sensor life 14 days (longest disposable sensor duration available)
- Easy to grip inserter
- Low profile transmitter
- Lowest cash pay cost
- 1-hour warm up (shortest)
- Reading updated every 60 seconds, recorded to memory every 15 minutes,
- Sensor stores up to 8 hours of data if not scanned.
- Reader and app accept notes to track info such as carbs, meal/snack type, insulin, exercise, comments, medications
- App allows for adds/edits to logbook info at any time
- Reader only requires a charge every 4 days, or it can be charged briefly every day
- Medicare approved
- Data upload software available
- Glucometer built into reader
- New! Easy to set up, easy to use Freestyle Libre 2 phone app now available for iPhones.
- Phone app has real-time alerts for lows and highs that prompts you to scan to see the glucose value.
- Phone app can link to healthcare provider team with LibreView and/or link to up to 20 people using the LibreLinkUp app
- Easy to log info real-time, or add logbook details later and adjust the date/time of the entry.
Potential Drawbacks: CONS
- Need to carry reader if app is not compatible with your phone
- Must scan sensor and wait a moment to get data
- Tends to ‘exaggerate’ lows & alerts for lows when not low
- Calibration not available to improve accuracy
- Can only add/edit notes within 15 minutes of real-time on Reader
- It takes 3 hours to fully charge a low battery Reader
- >500 mg daily of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) may falsely raise Sensor glucose readings
- Transmitter adhesive may not last 14 days
- Need to use enough “force” to push the inserter device to deploy the sensor from the inserter into the body.
- Aside from a momentary display after scanning to get a glucose result, the phone app only displays in 24 hour graph format which visually causes a more variable-appearing glucose graph than if it were displayed in a 3, 6, or 12 hour view.
- Still comes with a fine print warning of: https://provider.myfreestyle.com/freestyle-libre-2-accuracy.html IMPORTANT: The device may inaccurately indicate hypoglycemia. The results of the clinical study conducted for this device showed that 40% of the time when the device indicated that user sensor glucose values were at or below 60 mg/dL, user glucose values were actually in the range of 81-160 mg/dL. Therefore, interpretation of the FreeStyle Libre Pro Flash Glucose Monitoring System readings should only be based on the trends and patterns analyzed through time using the reports available per the intended use.
- A warning related to charging the Reader states: Surface temperature of Reader and power adapter could be as high as 120?F while charging. Do not hold the Reader or power adapter for more than 5 minutes while charging.
5 days in on the Libre2 and it is complete junk compared to my Dexcom that I had. Should not have to scan the button 6 times to get a reading. The app used for it looks like something out of the 80’s. Inaccurate readings are ridiculous. I feel I was better off with the finger sticks, at least they are more accurate. Abbott needs to make good on this product. Very disappointed
I have had 2 sensors fail in a year and 2 that lasted 10-12 days. I did buy an adhesive cover for the sensor. Too much trouble to send defective units back — the endocrinologist just gives me samples to replace . If you are insulin dependent and test 3times a day , and have standard Medicare and a supplement you should be able to get the sensors through a medical equipment provider at no charge ( after meting the yearly deductible) . ( Crazy pharmacies cant do this.)
My mom started a few months ago, she has lost 16 lbs now that she realizes that cookies and sweets in the afternoon were driving her glucose up… testing once a day led her into a false sense of security.
I have had a heart transplant and the rejection drugs have caused me to be insulin dependent for what i hope is just a little longer.. I cant imagine doing this without the CGM,. Multiple smaller shots a day is such a big help.
I have been using Freestyle Libre 2 for about 1 year and it works correctly about 50% of the time. The Abbott company needs to be held accountable. This product should have never been approved for sale. The FDA should recall their approval or they are not doing their job. The sensors are inaccurate at best and fail half the time. I have had sensors off by as much as 100 points. Every time you call the company you speak with someone who has no idea of the product. I keep sending back sensors and have never been contacted by the company to hear their findings. There really is no customer service. I understand they will keep sending me replacements but you still have to peel off the sensor that you just applied and wait 1 hour and hope your new sensor works. If I ran a business like this I would be out of business real fast.
As with the freestyle 14 system I’ve been using mine for 2 years, started with the 10 day now 14, love it works better than expected, only have knocked off 1 in that time,also charging has been no problem. Some time would be nice to get longer days use to help with $ . I don’t use cell phones hope Abbott keeps the 14 system. Very happy not to stick fingers. Thank you. Jim
How is this a continuous blood sugar monitor. It sends you a reading that you are high or low but you still have to scan it for the numeric number. Obviously it knows the value. Don’t get me started with the failed sensors. I started with the freestyle 1 Hartley had any failed sensors or scan error sensor readings. I used mine with a miomio which sent readings to my phone like a real continuous glucose monitor. Thought the new freestyle 2 was going to be the same. Extremely disappointed
spot on Richard,
we call the freestyle 1,2 and 14 day a “flash monitor” because they don’t give the number without scanning. the libre 3 is uch smaller and is a real continuous glucose monitor with no need to scan.
However adhesives and sensors have always been an issue for the libre so hopefully they have fixed this too. I’d recommend checking out the Dexcom, it can give oyu the benefits you’re looking for, but adhesive and sensor issues are still a part of CGM life.
Mine malfunctioned and I had 3 days of low blood sugar readings then it just stop giving readings and then when I put the other one on it popped within an hour. I am waiting on some new ones now
My receiver fell off in a week. I like the item and if it worked well and stayed on me I would’ve continued. So I contacted my pharmacy regarding getting another set and I was told that it was $500 for six. Although this site says Medicare pays for it apparently that is not true. The AARP supplement does not contribute in any way. This was my first experience with this product and I am not happy with it. It looks like it has a lot of problems and it is extremely expensive which precludes a lot of people from buying it.
When you have an issue with any device don’t call the pharmacy or medical equiptment company for replacement, You have to go to the manufacturer. Suppliers have to charge you cash, but the manufacturer will replace for free.
I use Expression Med tapes to keep my sensors on. When they loosen up – usually not til the last few days – I put on some skin tac & that holds it. I was having issues with the sensors falling off too, or getting caught on doorways, bra straps, car doors – I have huge arms & did even when I was a much smaller person. Anyway, I found that putting the sensor on the top back of my arm (bending my elbow & pointing it at the ceiling, sensor about 3/4 of the way up from my elbow) gave me the best results to keep it from catching on anything including my clothes. Since I started doing this, I have not caught it once. As for the numbers being off from actual finger sticks, read the materials – it is not a blood reader, it reads the interstitial fluid. It’s not meant to be an exact number (it can be), but an indicator or predictor of the direction your blood sugar is heading. Using the sensors has kept me informed about my sugar levels – I started with my A1C almost 12 – using the sensors, I am able to get it under 7. When I have had to forgo the sensors because my insurance won’t cover it (don’t even bother with that nightmare because I’m type II & not on insulin) , my A1C elevates up over 8 again. If I can consistently use the sensors, I can get it down under 6 in 1 month.. What I’m trying to say is, despite the horrid reviews, if you use the technology the way it’s meant to be used (and I don’t use my phone, I use the reader) it can help immensely to guide you.
Fantastic guidance there Theresa! CGm may present some struggles but they are well worth overcoming.
Can the sensor be placed anywhere besides the arm?
Lire is only FDA approved for use on the back of the arm. However many users find they get better use in alternate locations such as the abdomen or upper buttock/lower back
I am not happy so far. only been using for a few days but my readings have been between 30 and 60 points higher than a finger prick reading. This doesn’t seem right with my last A1c reading. I can’t trust the readings to administer insulin.
The low sugar alrm is so faint as to be useless
alarms will only sound at the volume to which the phone is set, so this is a problem if you want to be woken for your alarms, but not blown out of the room when your wakeup alarm goes off. You can purchase a phone amplifier for home use that is loud enough to wake the neighbors!!
Highly annoying. Sensor loses signal every ten minutes. When I can feel my glucose getting low, or too high, it won’t scan and says I have to wait ten minutes. Ten minutes goes by, and it tells me the same thing. Also, something has to be done about the adhesive. I work as a mechanic so I’m always rubbing up against something. Takes almost no effort to knock it out of where it’s planted. And it doesn’t help that I have a two year old who likes to touch and pull on everything that he is not supposed to
Have been trying to use for past 8 months. Would not recommend to anyone. Nothing but issues from the start. For example, out of past 7 sensors, only 1 has lasted 2 weeks! And to think their CSR chided me for reporting a bad sensor from Nov 4th on December 18th! Abbott seems to think I have tons of free time to call them, wait on the phone line, and do bookkeeping on all their bad sensors.
I’ve had about a 40% success rate with the sensors staying on or even working over the past 8 months. Would not recommend it. Every time it fails, I have to call Abbott to report it to get a replacement. Do keep the box of every sensor you put on. Write on it the date you applied it, the date it broke, and the reason why (stopped working vs. lifted off your arm). You’ll need this and the bad sensor to return. Customer reps then encourage you to use a giant “band aid” to help it stay on – I have it the things still don’t work. I have done everything correctly – wash area w/soap and water, let it dry, use alcohol wipes in sensor kit to clean and let try, snap applicator together on a flat surface. I even let it “set” for 1-2 hours in a tank top so there is no chance of me pulling it or interfering with the glue curing.
Can’t begin to express my disappointment. Currently without a sensor for another 5 days until my insurance company approves the next ones. Abbott is slow on the replacements – they often take 5-9 days. Considering switching to DexCom. Everyone I know who uses DexCom is happy and don’t have nearly the same set of issues as the Libre 2.
I like the idea of not finger sticking. But they have to get there act together on eliminating sensor failures and falling off issues, not to mention their android app doesn’t support most phones and the inconvenience and cost of buying a reader as a result. I’ll stick to finger sticking for now.
CGMs have a long way to go before they’re perfect, but seeing a new technology come so far so fast has been amazing too. It’s great that we have more options to fit more needs.
I am using Nightrider BluCon for the past 6 months, and the device is the best way to track your blood sugar level. It scans the readings from my Freestyle Libre Sensors and transmits the same to the LinkBluCon app. I will suggest people dealing with diabetic issues to give the device a try.
we’ve discussed giving the BluCon a try to review it so we appreciate your input
I have had my fourth sensor of the 14 day sensor fail and in the last 12 hrs i have had both of my senors fail within 12 hrs so now i have to call the number again to get another replacement which i do not have another replacement on hand and the ppl to call aren’t available to call for another 4 hrs and out of both of these sensors i only got 1 reading from 1 the other one failed after 13 mins of me activating it so it failed 44 mins before i could get my first reading from it and now this 1.
I do love my freestyle libre 14 day glucose sensor, WHEN it works that is. So upsetting to literally flush $70 down the toilet within 2 weeks due to faulty sensor pieces. I cannot afford this thing!
OUCH, sorry to hear about your experience Rita,
Are you having sensors fail? inaccuracies? or not sticking? Definitely reach out to Freestyle, they should replace any sensor that does not perform appropriately, they can also hopefully walk you through ways to get improved performance.
At leas you can recoup a little of the loss, even if you switch to another CGM maker.
This is a great product, but there got to sort out the sensor issues. I’ve probably had 40-50 of mine fail. This is too expensive..
As for the Freestyle Libre 14 day system. I am happy to say that I am glad that Freestyle has come out with this system. I waited so long to receive mine that after waiting so long, I end up getting the 10 day one which doesn’t work any longer. After getting my 14 day system all was fine except that there was one thing that I will need to buy which no one told me about. First of all, I poked fun at a co-worker who complained that her sensor popped off a couple times. I realized quickly that it wasn’t her but the problem was with the sensor. Mine like hers popped of twice. The first one was 10 days after and the second one in 2 days. Then I found that they have bandages that you can buy on Amazon and other places that will tape over the sensor to protect it. Also the instructions tell you to use the tests strip to test questionable readings. I can’t do that because none of my the other Freestyle meter fit this one. So with the sensors falling off, the test strips and the bandages you have to also buy, this has been an expensive venture just to check you blood glucose. Boy what a waist of money.it has been fooling with this so-called new technology.
HI Larry, unfortunately to hear about your struggles, it is true that you’d need strips to work with the freestyle receiever, though you are not limited to just that meter, you compare blood sugars on another meter entirely. But that means carrying another thing. Hopefully some day insurers and prescribers will realize that living with diabetes does not mean we walk around with backpacks full of stuff!! and certainly not money! you are right making things work can take added $.
most people find that to make the freestyle 14 day sensor last some kind of overtape or added adhesive is needed.