A controlled porosity osmotic pump-based drug delivery system has been described in this study. Unlike the elementary osmotic pump (EOP) which consists of an osmotic core with the drug surrounded by a semipermeable membrane drilled with a delivery orifice, controlled porosity of the membrane is accomplished by the use of different channeling agents in the coating. The usual dose of pseudoephedrine is 60 mg to be taken three or four times daily. It has a short plasma half life of 5-8 h. Hence, pseudoephedrine was chosen as a model drug with an aim to develop a controlled release system for a period of 12 h. Sodium bicarbonate was used as the osmogent. The effect of different ratios of drug:osmogent on the in-vitro release was studied. Cellulose acetate (CA) was used as the semipermeable membrane. Different channeling agents tried were diethylphthalate (DEP), dibutylphthalate (DBP), dibutylsebacate (DBS) and polyethyleneglycol 400 (PEG 400). The effect of polymer loading on in-vitro drug release was studied. It was found that drug release rate increased with the amount of osmogent due to the increased water uptake, and hence increased driving force for drug release. This could be retarded by the proper choice of channeling agent in order to achieve the desired zero order release profile. Also the lag time seen with tablets coated using diethylphthalate as channeling agent was reduced by using a hydrophilic plasticizer like polyethyleneglycol 400 in combination with diethylphthalate. This system was found to deliver pseudoephedrine at a zero order rate for 12 h. The effect of pH on drug release was also studied. The optimized formulations were subjected to stability studies as per ICH guidelines at different temperature and humidity conditions. © 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.