Dextrans are a class of carbohydrate polymers extensively applied in pharmaceutical applications, particularly as drug conjugate macromolecular carriers or drug delivery systems. These polysaccharides improve the stability of the therapeutics enabling also the control of their release, via either the parenteral and or oral routes. In the latter case, due to their gel forming ability they may have potential as hydrophilic matrix tablets for sustained drug release.In this paper, we investigated the behaviour of different molecular weight (1, 40, 500 and 2300. kDa) dextrans as tabletting excipients. Powder particle size and hygroscopic studies have been reported, together with tabletability, tablet stability and tablet swelling. Moreover we use tramadol as model compound to evaluate the ability of dextrans to control drug dissolution. The results suggest that dextrans with lower molecular weights may be a promising excipient to be used as filler for immediate release tablets, due to their good tabletability and fast dissolution rate, while dextrans with higher molecular weights could be an efficient disintegrant due to their swelling ability.