Venlafaxine is a unique antidepressant that differs structurally from other currently available antidepressants. Sustained release tablets of venlafaxine to be taken once daily were formulated with venlafaxine hydrochloride equivalent to 75mg of venlafaxine base. Matrix system based on swellable as well as non-swellable polymers was selected for sustaining the drug release. Different polymers viz. hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), cellulose acetate, Eudragit RSPO, ethylcellulose etc. were studied. Combinations of non-swellable polymers with HPMC were also tried in order to get the desired sustained release profile over a period of 16h. The effect of drug to polymer ratio on in vitro release was studied. The marketed formulation was evaluated for different parameters such as appearance, weight variation, drug content and in vitro drug release. The optimized formulation was subjected to stability studies at different temperature and humidity conditions as per ICH guidelines. These were evaluated for appearance, weight variation, thickness, hardness, friability, drug content and in vitro drug release at selected time intervals. In vivo studies were carried out for the optimized formulation in 12 healthy human volunteers and the pharmacokinetic parameters were compared with the marketed one. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.