A medication's pharmacokinetic properties can be as important as its efficacy in determining how successful a treatment is. Formulation plays a critical role in absorption, distribution, and elimination of a drug, which in turn can influence the clinical profile of a medication, including onset and duration of action, consistency of plasma levels, ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, and other factors. Advances in drug delivery technology mean that formulation is now an integral component in the development of a drug. Likewise, formulation is one of the factors that may influence selection of a medication to suit the needs of a particular patient. This article briefly reviews the technologies commonly applied in the development of psychotropic medications, with emphasis on the various oral modified-release formulations, and discusses how formulation can be used to optimize the efficacy and tolerability of psychotropic drugs.