Agamatrix control solution

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Glucose Control Solution: How to Use it to Check Your Meter & Strips

Checking your blood glucose monitoring system to make sure it is working properly can be done easily at home with glucose control solution. Control solution can also be handy to practice using your meter without needing to do a finger stick.

Testing using control solution is a similar process to testing a blood sample. However, the properties of the fluids are different, and the test results are used for separate purposes. Control solution for a glucometer has a known amount of glucose set by the manufacturer, whereas the concentration of glucose within human blood can fluctuate, even when measuring the same drop of blood. Therefore, a control solution test can be used to check if your meter and test strips are reading blood sugar levels properly by providing the expected result.

Read on for information on how to get started using control solution:

What is control solution for a glucose meter?

Glucose control solution is a liquid made up of water, glucose, buffers, and microbicides. These ingredients are vital to creating a solution with the following properties:

  • Has a concentration of glucose that can be used to test the functionality of your meter and test strips.
  • Has a pH level that is close to the physiological value of human blood.
  • Prevents the growth of micro bacteria that would otherwise alter the glucose concentration.

Your blood glucose monitoring system can detect the amount of glucose present in control solution in a similar way to how it detects the amount of glucose present in blood. A glucose control solution reading on your meter appears as a numerical value. This value should fall within the target range printed on the test strip vial, which is based on the concentration of glucose in the control solution.

Manufacturers often have a few options of control solution that are compatible with each brand of test strips. The different options, or “levels” — Level 1, Level 2, or Level 4 for example — have glucose ranges that are different from one another, typically corresponding with low, normal, or high glucose concentrations. Your test strip vial should show the target range for each different level of control solution. Be sure to identify the correct range that corresponds to the type of control solution you have.

Glucose control solution can be used to complete a quality check on your blood glucose monitoring system. It can help you determine if your meter and test strips are performing properly.

How often is a glucose control solution test recommended?

Control solution tests may need to be performed numerous times throughout the lifetime of a meter for a variety of reasons.

A control solution test is recommended when:

  • You suspect that your meter or test strips are not working properly.
  • You suspect your test results are unexpectedly too high or low, or do not match how you’re feeling.
  • Your test strip vial is damaged or was not capped tightly.
  • You have dropped or damaged your meter or exposed your meter to liquids.
  • Your meter or test strips have been exposed to extreme environmental conditions, like humidity, temperature, or sunlight.
  • You are advised by a healthcare professional to do so.

Regardless of the reason for a glucose control solution test, the purpose is always the same: to determine whether your meter and test strips are performing as expected by the manufacturer. However, this does not indicate how accurate your glucose meter is.

How to check the accuracy of a glucose meter

While it is tempting to use the results of a control solution test to find out if your meter is reading high or low and by how much, the properties that make blood and control solution different prevent this from being a reliable way to check the accuracy of a glucose meter. Instead, it gives you an indication as to whether your meter and test strips are working properly. Once a control solution test confirms that your monitoring system is functioning correctly, other causes for suspicious readings can be considered.

The accuracy of blood glucose meter readings can be affected by many factors unrelated to the meter’s functionality, such as environmental conditions, altitude, testing practices, and damaged or expired test strips. Something as simple as testing with unwashed hands or from an insufficient blood drop can throw off your entire test. Therefore, identifying and controlling any interfering factors can be a simple step to improving the accuracy of your results.

If you are still wondering how to check the accuracy of a glucose meter, the Diabetes Technology Society completed a study that evaluated the accuracy performance of popular meters on the market. It is important to remember that this study evaluated meters using a controlled method and that comparing test results from two different meters is not recommended due to the variances in meter technology from one brand to another. Also, factors like the ones mentioned above can influence accuracy to yield different results from one test to the next.

How to use control solution

How to perform a control solution test

Glucose control solution tests are performed the same way as blood glucose tests. These tests are not a method for calibrating your meter, but rather a useful tool to check the performance of your meter and test strips. You can also use control solution to practice testing with your blood glucose monitoring system before testing a blood sample.

Here are the steps to guide you through the process:

  • Step 1: Insert a new test strip into your meter and check that the meter is ready to perform a test.
  • Step 2: Shake the control solution bottle vigorously.
  • Step 3: Discard the first drop and wipe off the bottle tip so that it is clean.
  • Step 4: Dispense a second drop onto a hard, clean surface, then bring the test strip to the drop. Hold the test strip up to the sample until enough control solution has been applied to the test strip.
  • Step 5: Check the meter as it calculates and displays the test result. Compare the test result to the appropriate control solution range printed on the test strip vial.
  • Step 6: Dispose of any used test strips and store the control solution bottle with your testing supplies.

How will I know if the control solution test passed?

Once you have the result from the glucose control solution test, the next step is to compare the number shown on your meter to the range specified by the manufacturer, printed on the test strip vial. The number shown on the meter should fall within the range. It is important to remember that results from control solution tests are unrelated to blood glucose levels and do not reflect your body’s blood glucose concentration.

A range for control solution results — rather than a single number — is provided because no two tests will be exactly the same. Manufacturers anticipate the possible variations from test to test and therefore provide an expected range.

If you find that a control solution result does not fall within the range printed on the test strip vial, you should contact the manufacturer of your meter to determine if additional troubleshooting or replacement supplies are needed.

How long does control solution last?

Most control solution for glucose meters lasts 90 days from the date that the bottle is first opened. However, some manufacturers make their control solution to last longer. It is always best to use control solution before the expiration date on the box, and to discard the bottle after it has been opened for the time period specified by the manufacturer.

After each use, be sure to re-cap the control solution bottle, forming a tight seal. Temperature and humidity can affect the control solution and potentially alter the result of a control solution test. Therefore, check the storage conditions on the bottle to determine the best place to store it.

Where to buy control solution for a glucose meter

Typically, control solution for a glucometer is available from the manufacturer of your meter and test strips, and most private insurance companies or Medicare will cover the cost.

Check the manufacturer’s website for details on where to purchase control solution. You can also check with your local pharmacy to see if they have available stock of the control solution that is compatible with your glucose meter. If none is in stock, you can request it to be ordered through your pharmacy.

Can any kind of glucose control solution be used?

Control solution for glucose meters is made specific to each brand and type of test strip; there is no universal or generic brand. If you are unsure which control solution is designated to work with your glucose monitoring system, check the instructions that came with your meter or test strips or look on the manufacturer’s website.


Checking your blood glucose monitoring system using control solution is important anytime you or your doctor believes there could be damage to your meter or test strips, or concerns about the performance of your system. While a control solution test cannot provide insights into the accuracy of your meter, it is a helpful method to determine if your system is working properly. This test can be done in a few simple steps, at home. So, the next time you stock up on diabetes testing supplies, or notice that your control solution is expired,  consider adding a box of control solution to your next order.

Learn How to Check Your Meter & Test Strips with This Guide

Using control solution, you can easily check that your blood glucose meter and test strips are working properly. Get the details in this guide.

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Reviewed by: Melissa Herrmann Dierks , RDN, LDN, CDCES

Melissa Herrmann Dierks RDN, LDN, CDCES is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in Huntersville, NC with over twenty-five years of professional experience in the field of nutrition and diabetes education. In addition to providing nutrition solutions for adults and children, she provides nutrition communication services to the food and beverage industry and is the owner of Supermarket Savvy. Melissa has held various sales and marketing positions for leading companies in the diabetes space including insulin pump, blood glucose monitor, and diabetes supply distribution companies.



Performing a Control Solution Test

The AgaMatrix Presto system has 2 different levels of control

solution: normal and high. Select the level of control solution

you want to use.

The control solution is used to:

[1] Ensure that your AgaMatrix Presto Meter and Test Strips

are working together properly.

[2] Practice testing without having to use your own blood.

Control solution tests should be performed when you:

[1] First get your meter.

[2] Suspect that your meter or test strips are not working


[3] Think your test results are not accurate.

[4] Have dropped or damaged your meter or exposed your

meter to liquids.

[5] Are advised by your healthcare professional to do so.

Control solution should only be used for 90 days after first

opening the bottle or until the expiration date printed on the

label, whichever comes first.


IMPORTANT: Count forward 90 days from the date you

open a new bottle of AgaMatrix Control Solution. This is

your discard date. Write the discard date on the AgaMatrix

Control Solution bottle.

Important AgaMatrix Control Solution information:

[1] Use only AgaMatrix Control Solution with your AgaMatrix

Presto System.

[2] Replace the cap on the control solution bottle

immediately after use.

[3] Do not add water or any other liquid to control solution.

[4] Control solution tests should be performed within the

system operating temperature range of 50 °F to 104 °F (10 °C

to 40 °C).

How to perform a control solution test:

[1] Inserting an AgaMatrix

Presto Test Strip: Gently

insert a new AgaMatrix Presto

Test Strip into the meter. The

meter will be activated.

[2] Meter Ready For Test: The meter now displays the blood

drop and test strip symbols. The AgaMatrix Presto System is

now ready for you to apply control solution. You do not need to

set a calibration code for this meter.


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Agamatrix Wavesense Control Solution Normal - 1 EA

Content and information on is provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute the advice provided by one's physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, immediately contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we work extremely hard to ensure that all product information is correct, manufacturers sometimes change their logos, packaging and products. You should use our site as a reference, carefully read all product packaging, and contact the manufacturer with any questions before using a product. We are not liable for inaccuracies or misstatements about products. Customer reviews are provided for informational purposes only. Customer reviews reflect the individual reviewer's results and experiences only and are not verified or endorsed by Actual results may vary among users.

Glucose Monitors by AgaMatrix WaveSense

How to use control solution

Control solution can be used to confirm that your meter and strips are working correctly. You can purchase control solution for your One Drop meter in our online store. One Drop control solution comes in both Level 2 and Level 4. You may receive one or the other depending on which one is in stock at our fulfillment centers. Either one will give you an accurate measurement.

If you are enrolled in One Drop through your employer, please email [email protected] with your name, email, and employer name to request control solution.

Can I use other control solutions?

The One Drop glucose meter must be tested with Agamatrix control solution. Control solutions from other manufacturers may not produce an accurate test result.

How to use One Drop control solution:

  1. Determine if you have Level 2 or Level 4 control solution. The level is listed on the box.

  2. Find the reading range that matches your control solution level. The range is listed on your One Drop test strip vial.

  3. Use the control solution to take a glucose reading as you normally would, substituting a drop of control solution for the drop of blood.

  4. Check the reading on your glucose meter produced by using the control solution. If the number is within the corresponding range listed on the bottle of test strips, your meter is functioning correctly. If the reading is out of range, please email [email protected] immediately for a replacement.

What is the difference between Level 2 and Level 4 control solution?

Level 2 and Level 4 control solutions have different concentrations of glucose, allowing you to check for meter accuracy at normal and high glucose levels. You do not need to use both Level 2 and Level 4 control solutions to verify that your test strips are working and your glucose meter is accurate.

Level 2 is considered the standard level of control solution and can be used for everyday testing to confirm that your meter and test strips are working together correctly.

Level 4 is used in clinical and professional settings that require a secondary quality control level in addition to Level 2.

If you experience any difficulties, please reach out to us by calling 1-800-437-1474 (US/CA) (+44 808-164-8300 for UK/EU customers) or emailing us at [email protected] Support hours are 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. 

Updated: January 15, 2021


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