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United States Pharmacopeia dissolution apparatus II (paddle) and III (reciprocating cylinder) coupled with automatic sampling devices and software were used to develop a testing procedure for acquiring release profiles of colon-specific drug delivery system (CODES™) drug formulations in multi-pH media using acetaminophen (APAP) as a model drug. System suitability was examined. Several important instrument parameters and formulation variables were evaluated. Release profiles in artificial gastric fluid (pH 1.2), intestinal fluid (pH 6.8), and pH 5.0 buffer were determined. As expected, the percent release of APAP from coated core tablets was highly pH dependent. A release profile exhibiting a negligible release in pH 1.2 and 6.8 buffers followed by a rapid release in pH 5.0 buffer was established. The drug release in pH 5.0 buffer increased significantly with the increase in the dip or paddle speed but was inversely related to the screen mesh observed at lower dip speeds. It was interesting to note that there was a close similarity (f2=80.6) between the release profiles at dip speed 5 dpm and paddle speed 100 rpm. In addition, the release rate was reduced significantly with the increase in acid-soluble Eudragit E coating levels, but lactulose loading showed only a negligible effect. In conclusion, the established reciprocating cylinder method at lower agitation rates can give release profiles equivalent to those for the paddle procedure for CODES™ drug pH-gradient release testing. Apparatus III was demonstrated to be more convenient and efficient than apparatus II by providing various programmable options in sampling times, agitation rates, and medium changes, which suggested that the apparatus II approach has better potential for in vitro evaluation of colon-specific drug delivery systems.