To achieve time-controlled or site-specific drug delivery in the gastrointestinal tract, a sigmoidal release system (SRS) was developed, which achieved a prolonged lag time, followed by rapid release. The theophylline beads with a thick Eudragit RS film coating showed very low drug release in water, whereas the release rate increased considerably in organic acid solutions. A hydration study of Eudragit RS films suggested that the increase in drug release was attributable to structural changes of the film induced by polymer-acid interactions. When succinic acid was incorporated into the core of Eudragit RS-coated theophylline beads, the drug release profile showed a typical sigmoidal pattern. SRS beads containing acetaminophen were also prepared by the same technique. Again, a sigmoidal release pattern was observed in which the lag time was prolonged with an increase in the coating level, whereas the drug release rate thereafter was almost constant irrespective of the coating level. Acetaminophen-containing SRS beads with different coating thickness were orally administered to beagle dogs. The drug plasma concentration curves showed lag periods similar to the in vitro lag time.