In this article, the influence of agitation in descending and ascending sequences as a systematic method development process for potentially discriminating fed and fasted states and evaluation of its effects on the drug release from swelling gel-forming hydrophilic matrix tablets were investigated. Theophylline extended release (ER) matrices containing hypromellose (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)) were evaluated in media with a pH range of 1.2-7.5, using an automated USP type III, Bio-Dis dissolution apparatus at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 dips per minute (dpm). Agitation had a profound effect on the drug release from the HPMC K100LV matrices. Drug release in pH 1.2 changed from about 40% at 5dpm to about 80% at 30dpm over a 60min period alone. The matrices containing HPMC K4M, K15M and K100M however were not significantly affected by the agitation rate. The similarity factor f2 was calculated using drug release at 10dpm as a reference. The ascending agitations of 5-30dpm and the descending order of agitation 30-5dpm were also evaluated. Anomalous transport was the only kinetic of release for the K4M, K15M and K100M tablet matrices. The lower viscous polymer of K100LV had some matrices exhibiting Fickian diffusion as its kinetics of release. The use of systematic change of agitation method may indicate potential fed and fasted effects on drug release from hydrophilic matrices.