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Libre 2 vs Libre 3

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Product Information


Usage Guidelines

Safety and Side Effects


Market Analysis


For individuals with diabetes, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices such as the FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 can play a vital role in managing blood sugar levels. The Libre 2 and Libre 3 are both innovative tools designed to measure glucose levels without constant finger pricks. They use a small sensor applied to the skin which measures interstitial fluid glucose levels every minute.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 has optional real-time alarms that alert you when your glucose is too high or low, while the FreeStyle Libre 3 provides real-time readings automatically every minute sent directly to an app on your smartphone, making it more convenient for some users. Both systems offer trend arrows indicating whether glucose levels are stable, rising or falling and provide comprehensive reports enabling better management of diabetes under physician guidance. It's important to note that individual needs may vary and one should consult with their health care provider for personalized advice.

Libre 2 vs Libre 3 Side By Side

AttributeFree style libre 2Free style libre 3
Brand NameFreeStyle Libre 2FreeStyle Libre 3
ContraindicationsNot to be used if on dialysis or diagnosed with severe dehydration. Not accurate during rapid glucose changes.Not to be used if on dialysis or diagnosed with severe dehydration. Not accurate during rapid glucose changes.
CostAround $60 per sensor, lasting up to 14 daysEstimated around $60 per sensor in Europe, lasting up to 14 days
Generic NameContinuous Glucose Monitoring SystemContinuous Glucose Monitoring System
Most Serious Side EffectSkin reactions, inaccurate readings leading to incorrect insulin dosingSkin reactions, inaccurate readings leading to incorrect insulin dosing
Severe Drug InteractionsN/AN/A
Typical DoseSensor lasts up to 14 daysSensor lasts up to 14 days

What is Libre 2?

The FreeStyle Libre 2 (Libre 2) was a significant advancement in continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs) when it was first approved by the FDA. This system, pioneered by Abbott Laboratories, dramatically changed diabetes management by providing real-time blood sugar levels without the need for routine finger pricks. The Libre 2 introduces optional alarms to warn of potential high or low glucose events.

In comparison, the recently introduced FreeStyle Libre 3 (Libre 3) represents a further evolution of this technology. While retaining all features from its predecessor, the Libre 3 has been designed to be even smaller and more discreet. It also offers increased data transmission frequency - updating glucose readings every minute as opposed to every fifteen minutes with Libre 2 - giving users an even closer look at their glucose trends and variations throughout the day.

However, both devices are noteworthy for their minimal interference in daily life activities thanks to their non-intrusive nature compared to traditional methods. Despite these advancements, users should be mindful that both systems can occasionally give inaccurate readings due to factors such as dehydration or sensor dislodgement.

What conditions is Libre 2 approved to treat?

The Libre 2 and Libre 3 systems are designed to monitor glucose levels for people with diabetes:

  • The Freestyle Libre 2 system, approved by the FDA, is indicated for managing diabetes in individuals aged 4 years and older.
  • The FreeStyle Libre 3 system has received CE marking, indicating that it complies with health safety standards in Europe. It's designed to manage diabetes in individuals over the age of four as well. This newer version boasts of a smaller-sized sensor compared to its predecessor for improved user comfort while maintaining accuracy and reliability.

How does Libre 2 help with these illnesses?

The FreeStyle Libre 2 helps to manage diabetes by continuously monitoring glucose levels in the interstitial fluid under the skin. It does this with a small, wearable sensor that sends data to a reader device or smartphone, allowing levels to be tracked and analyzed over time. Glucose is critical for energy production in all cells of the body and plays an important role in metabolism, bodily functions, physical activity performance, cognitive function and overall health. In individuals with diabetes who have difficulty regulating their blood sugar levels naturally through insulin production, continuous glucose monitoring can provide real-time feedback helping them maintain optimal ranges more consistently. By providing consistent glucose level readings every minute instead of just at meal times like many traditional monitors do, the FreeStyle Libre 2 assists patients manage their condition effectively.

In comparison to its predecessor (Libre 2), The FreeStyle Libre 3 offers enhanced features such as smaller size sensor making it more comfortable to wear along with improved accuracy due to advancements in technology. It also maintains the same convenient functionality where there are no finger pricks required for calibration.

What is Libre 3?

Libre 3 is the latest model from Abbott's FreeStyle line of glucose monitors, an advanced version of its predecessor, Libre 2. This device enables people with diabetes to continuously monitor their blood glucose levels, reducing the need for regular fingerstick tests. Libre 3 has been designed to be more compact and discreet than prior models.

The key improvement in Libre 3 over the Libre 2 is its real-time glucose alerts feature that notifies users when their blood sugar level goes too high or too low. These proactive warnings can help patients manage their condition more effectively and avoid severe hypoglycemic (low sugar) or hyperglycemic (high sugar) episodes.

Additionally, unlike previous versions which required a separate reader device or smartphone app to scan sensor data, Libre 3 offers optional continuous connectivity through Bluetooth technology allowing automatic transmission of readings every minute directly to your phone without needing you to manually check.

This upgrade on functionality helps ensure better control over one's health parameters and contributes towards making life easier for those managing diabetes regularly.

What conditions is Libre 3 approved to treat?

The Libre 3 system is a notable advancement in the field of glucose monitoring. It's been approved for:

  • Continuous, real-time glucose readings, directly delivered to your smartphone or other device.
  • An alarm feature that alerts users if their glucose levels are too high or low without needing to scan the sensor.

This state-of-the-art technology represents an important step forward in managing diabetes effectively and conveniently.

How does Libre 3 help with these illnesses?

The glucose sensor Libre 3, like its predecessor Libre 2, plays a critical role in monitoring blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes. It functions by continually checking and recording glucose readings, thereby providing valuable data about fluctuations in the patient's sugar levels throughout the day and night. The key advancement of Libre 3 over Libre 2 is its ability to provide real-time alerts when it detects dangerously high or low glucose levels without needing to scan the device – a significant improvement when it comes to timely interventions under critical conditions. In addition to this proactive feature that can potentially save lives, the form factor of Libre 3 is smaller and more discreet than that of Libre 2; these improvements make it an appealing choice for those who need regular blood glucose monitoring while desiring minimal disruption to their daily activities.

How effective are both Libre 2 and Libre 3?

Both the FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 have proven to be successful in helping patients manage their diabetes. The two devices were approved by the FDA within a short span of each other, yet they offer different features which may make them more suitable for certain individuals. The effectiveness of both devices in monitoring glucose levels has been studied extensively; they exhibit similar efficacy and promising safety profiles.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 is highly effective at continuously tracking glucose levels, providing readings every minute and storing data every 15 minutes. Its additional feature of optional real-time alarms alerts users when their glucose level is too high or too low without needing to scan the sensor. This can provide peace of mind especially during sleep hours or any situation where scanning might not be possible.

On the other hand, the Freestyle Libre 3 maintains many capabilities of its predecessor while offering noticeable improvements as well. It's even smaller than previous models making it more discreet to wear and causes less interference with daily activities including exercise or sleeping positions. Moreover, it provides real-time reading automatically every minute without needing to scan - this continuous visibility allows users to see patterns and trends that could help improve management decisions regarding food intake, insulin use etc.

In conclusion, both systems are reliable ways for people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels but depending on individual needs such as discretion or need for alarms one may prefer one over another.

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At what dose is Libre 2 typically prescribed?

Freestyle Libre 2 and Libre 3 are continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) designed to track blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. The Freestyle Libre 2 uses a sensor that can be worn for up to 14 days, providing real-time readings every minute. It also has optional alarms that alert you when your glucose is too high or low. On the other hand, the more advanced Freestyle Libre 3 offers similar features but comes with a significantly smaller sensor making it more comfortable to wear. It provides real-time readings every minute and automatically sends data directly to your smartphone without needing to scan the sensor, offering an even more user-friendly experience.

At what dose is Libre 3 typically prescribed?

The FreeStyle Libre 3 system is initiated with a one-time setup to pair the sensor and reader. Once paired, there's no need for user calibration or manual coding, making it simpler than ever. The device actively measures glucose levels every minute, providing real-time readings when scanned and recording data up to 8 hours if not scanned. It has a wear time of up to 14 days per sensor - an improvement from its predecessor, the Libre 2. If you find irregularities in your blood sugar levels even after consistent use of the device over several weeks, consult with your healthcare provider about potential adjustments in diet or treatment plan.

What are the most common side effects for Libre 2?

While the list of side effects provided seems to be more suited for medications, it's important to note that FreeStyle Libre 2 and Libre 3 are glucose monitoring systems used by diabetics. Therefore, they don't have traditional side effects like a medication might. However, there can be differences in user experience between these two devices.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 provides optional real-time alarms which can alert users when their glucose levels go too high or low - this could potentially cause anxiety or nervousness in some individuals if alerts are frequent. On the other hand, the newer version, FreeStyle Libre 3 has been designed even smaller and thinner than its predecessor for increased comfortability with similar features as Libre 2 including optional glucose alarms.

Common experiences reported with both devices include skin reactions at the site of sensor insertion such as redness, swelling or itching. In rare cases some people may experience mild pain upon application of the sensor on skin.

Remember always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Libre 2?

Libre 2 and Libre 3 are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems designed to help manage diabetes. Here is a comparison of potential concerns:

  • Skin reactions: For some people, the adhesive used in both devices can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions including redness, swelling, itching or hives at the sensor insertion site.
  • Incorrect readings: Both Libre 2 and Libre 3 aim for accurate blood sugar level readings. However, they may occasionally provide inaccurate data due to factors such as dehydration, excessive sweating, low body mass index (BMI), high levels of vitamin C in your system etc., which could potentially lead to incorrect insulin dosing.
  • Sensor issues: Rarely users may experience discomfort or infection at the sensor site. If you notice significant pain or inflammation around it - seek medical attention immediately.
  • False alarms: While both systems have alarm features for hypo/hyperglycemia events; false alerts can sometimes occur causing unnecessary panic.

Remember that while these pitfalls exist; CGMs like FreeStyle Libre systems are generally well tolerated with minimal side effects and offer improved glycemic control over traditional fingerstick testing methods. Always consult with your healthcare provider if you encounter any persistent problems while using these devices.

What are the most common side effects for Libre 3?

Libre 3, the latest version of the glucose monitoring system, offers several improvements over its predecessor Libre 2. For instance:

  • Improved sensor accuracy
  • Shorter warm-up time
  • Enhanced connectivity to devices and apps
  • More streamlined design for comfort and discretion
  • Ability to provide real-time glucose readings without requiring a manual scan.

However, as with any medical device, it may come with some challenges such as potential skin irritation from adhesive patches or inaccuracies in reading if not placed correctly. It's always essential to consult your healthcare provider when making decisions about diabetes management tools.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Libre 3?

While the Libre 2 has been a reliable and useful tool for many, there are some potential issues to consider when transitioning to the new model, Libre 3:

  • Allergic reactions: Some users have reported redness or irritation at the application site. This can sometimes be severe, with symptoms like hives, itching, swelling in your face or throat and difficulty breathing.
  • Disorientation or confusion due to inaccurate readings: If you notice sudden changes in blood glucose levels that don't align with your physical feelings of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Vision problems: Though rare, blurred vision may occur if incorrect insulin dosages are administered based on false readings from the device.
  • Irregular heartbeats: Incorrect insulin dosage could also lead to palpitations or irregular heartbeats.
  • Changes in sleep patterns: As the Libre 3 offers alarms for high and low blood sugar levels which may disrupt sleep.

Please remember that while these side effects are possible they do not affect all users. It's important to monitor how you feel after switching devices and report any negative changes immediately to your healthcare professional.

Contraindications for Libre 2 and Libre 3?

Both the Libre 2 and Libre 3, like most glucose monitoring systems, might initially be challenging to use for some people. If you notice your glucose readings are consistently high or low, or if you're experiencing symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither the Libre 2 nor the Libre 3 should be used if you're on dialysis treatment or have been diagnosed with severe dehydration and excessive water loss in the body. Always inform your healthcare professional about any health conditions; these could affect how well these devices work for you.

The Libre system cannot provide accurate results during times of rapid blood glucose changes, such as after eating, dosing insulin, or exercising. This is due to a delay in CGM readings that measure glucose in interstitial fluid rather than directly from your bloodstream.

Before choosing between the FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 systems it's crucial to thoroughly consider their features. Although both offer round-the-clock glucose tracking without finger pricks*, they differ slightly: The FreeStyle Libre 3 system boasts a smaller design for more comfort during wear while still providing real-time glucose alarms - an upgrade over its predecessor which requires scanning to obtain data.

*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when suspected hypo- or hyperglycemic episodes occur, or when illness occurs.

How much do Libre 2 and Libre 3 cost?

When comparing the FreeStyle Libre 2 system to the Freestyle Libre 3, cost is a significant factor.

  • The price of FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor is around $60 per unit and lasts up to 14 days, which works out to about $4–5/day.
  • The price of the newly launched FreeStyle Libre 3 has not been officially disclosed in many regions but based on its current pricing strategy in Europe (around €60 for each sensor), we can estimate it will also average around $4–5/day.

Thus, if you're switching from the FreeStyle Libre 2 to the new model, your daily costs may stay relatively stable. However, please note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which glucose monitoring system is right for you.

Comparing these products with traditional blood glucose meters shows potential savings:

  • Traditional strips and lancets vary widely in price depending on brand and insurance coverage. Prices could range from as low as $0.20/strip ($6/month) without insurance for generic brands or reach upwards of over $1/strip ($90/month) for certain premium brands.

Please bear in mind that prices may vary significantly depending upon health insurance coverage and location.

Popularity of Libre 2 and Libre 3

The FreeStyle Libre 2, a flash glucose monitoring system for diabetes management, was approved by the FDA in June 2020. It allows people with diabetes to closely monitor their blood glucose levels without having to perform routine finger pricks. This device has been praised for its ease of use and affordability compared to other continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) on the market.

Meanwhile, Abbott recently introduced the FreeStyle Libre 3 system in Europe after receiving CE Mark approval in September 2020. The Libre 3 is said to be even smaller and thinner than its predecessor while offering real-time glucose readings automatically delivered every minute - an improvement over the manual scan required with Libre 2. Due to these advancements, it's expected that once approved in countries like the US, it will quickly gain popularity among users due to enhanced convenience and improved access to critical health data.


Both the FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 glucose monitoring systems have received high praise in the diabetes community for their ability to provide continuous, real-time blood glucose readings. These devices eliminate the need for routine finger pricks, making them a preferred choice among many patients with diabetes. However, there are several key differences between these two models.

The newer model, FreeStyle Libre 3 has an improved design that is smaller and thinner than its predecessor. It also provides updates every minute as opposed to every fifteen minutes by Libre 2 system.

In terms of affordability, both devices are comparably priced but it should be noted that prices can vary depending on insurance coverage and location.

Additionally, while both sensors last up to fourteen days before needing to be replaced, the Freestyle Libre 3 boasts a higher accuracy rate especially in hypoglycaemic ranges compared to Freestyle Libre 2.

Regardless of which device you choose, it's important for users to regularly monitor their glucose levels throughout the day and take appropriate action if they notice any drastic changes or start experiencing symptoms of hypo- or hyperglycemia.