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Care and use of your glucose meter control solution

In addition to the test strips and lancing device, your glucose meter might come packaged with a small bottle of control solution. Here's what the control solution does and how to use it.

What is control solution?

The control solution is a liquid that contains a known amount of glucose. This glucose reacts with the test strips you use in your glucose meter to give a result. To use it, you simply insert a test strip into the meter and apply the control solution in the same way you would apply a drop of blood. The resulting number on the glucose meter should correspond with the range listed on the vial of test strips. If the number is not within that range, there could be a problem with that vial of test strips or with the meter itself.

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends using the control solution in the following situations:

  1. When you open a new container of test strips
  2. Periodically as you use the container of test strips
  3. Whenever you get unusual results
  4. If you drop or otherwise damage the meter

You may also want to test with the control solution after you have cleaned the meter, or anytime your blood glucose results do not reflect how you are currently feeling. Store the control solution at room temperature; avoid freezing or refrigeration. Most control solution is until the expiration date or for three months after it is first opened. It can be helpful to write the discard date on the bottle when you first open it. Shake the bottle before each use to ensure the solution is well-mixed, and keep the cap on tightly between uses.

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