Microspheres of roxithromycin with Eudragit S100 and silica were prepared by the emulsion solvent diffusion method to mask the bitter taste of the antibiotic. The effect of different polymers and drug–polymer ratios on the taste masking and the characteristics of the microspheres were investigated. It was found that Eudragit S100 was the best for masking the unpleasant taste of roxithromycin among the six kinds of polymers investigated. The results of DSC, X-ray diffraction and IR showed that there were several combinations of roxithromycin and Eudragit S100. The influence of other formulation factors, i.e. dichloromethane–acetone ratios and silica–polymer ratios on the properties of the microspheres were also examined. In conclusion, the results of the present study will be helpful for the preparation of oral forms of roxithromycin with an acceptable taste.