A xanthan gum matrix controlled release tablet formulation containing diclofenac sodium was evaluated in vitro and was found to release the drug at a uniform rate. The gastrointestinal transit behaviour of the formulation as determined by gamma scintigraphy, using healthy male volunteers under fasted and fed conditions, indicated that gastric emptying was delayed with food intake. In contrast, the small intestinal transit remained practically unchanged under both food statuses. Therefore, the delay in caecal arrival observed in the fed state can be attributed to the delay in gastric emptying. Rate of diclofenac sodium absorption was generally higher in the fed state compared to the fasted state, however the total amount absorbed under both food statuses remained practically the same. The rate of in vivo dissolution of the drug in the fed state was faster compared to that in the fasted state. Thus, at the time of caecal arrival, in vivo dissolution was complete in the fed state, unlike in the fasted state, where almost 60% of the drug was delivered to the colon.