Diclofenac calcium alginate (DCA) beads containing glyceryl palmitostearate (GPS) were prepared by ionotropic gelation method. The effect of GPS amount and heat treatment on characteristics of the DCA beads was investigated. Incorporation of GPS into the DCA beads increased particle size and entrapment efficiency of diclofenac sodium (DS), but decreased water uptake in distilled water, and DS release rate. The heat treatment caused the DCA beads to be irregular shape particles and to possess higher water uptake. A slower release rate of DS in distilled water was found because of interaction of DS and alginate polymer matrix, and a restriction of water sorption into the inside region of the beads, which caused by the shrinkage of the beads after heating. However, the heat treatment did not affect particle shape and water uptake in distilled water of the 3%GPS–DCA beads. Differential scanning calorimetric study showed that GPS in the DCA beads was resolidified to different polymorph after cooling. Furthermore, the micro-Raman spectra indicated the existence of DS in the GPS matrix particles in the beads due to the partition of DS into the melted GPS during heat treatment. This led to a decrease in release rate of DS in pH 6.8 phosphate buffer and a change in DS release pattern in distilled water. Thus, not only the calcium alginate matrix, but also the resolidified GPS matrix in the alginate beads controlled the DS release from the 3%GPS–DCA beads with heat treatment.