Abstract This study compares the release of tetracycline and propolis incorporated into four silica-based bioactive glassy systems. The bioactive glasses, with composition (SiO 2) x(P 2O 5) y(CaO) z, were prepared using a sol–gel process at room temperature. Tetraethoxysilane (TEOS), triethylphosphate, and calcium chloride were used as Si, P, and Ca precursors, respectively. The quantities of tetracycline and propolis incorporated were 2% in weight. For delivery assays, the samples were individually immersed in deionized water and buffered with tris-hydroxymethyl amino methane, pH 7.4, and kept in water bath (37 °C) for thirty days. Aliquots were withdrawn and analyzed by ultraviolet spectrophotometry in the tetracycline (270 nm) and propolis (420 nm) wavelengths. For the glass–tetracycline compounds, it was observed that four days after release had started all samples had released about 90% of the total tetracycline concentration. In contrast, 90% of the propolis was released in about 30 days’ time. Sample characterization was made using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic (FTIR), and thermogravimetry (TG).