This study probes the molecular interactions between model drugs and poloxamers that facilitate dissolution rate improvements using solid dispersions. Ibuprofen and ketoprofen solid dispersions were prepared at different mole ratios using poloxamers 407 and 188. The carbonyl stretching vibration of the ibuprofen dimer shifted to higher wavenumber in the infrared spectra of 2:1 drug:carrier mole ratio solid dispersions, indicating disruption of the ibuprofen dimer concomitant with hydrogen bond formation between the drug and carrier. Solid dispersions with mole ratios >2:1 drug:carrier (up to 29:1) showed both ibuprofen hydrogen-bonded to the poloxamer, and excess drug present as dimers. X-ray diffraction studies confirmed these findings with no evidence of crystalline drug in 2:1 mole ratio systems whereas higher drug loadings retained crystalline ibuprofen. Similar results were found with ketoprofen-poloxamer solid dispersions. Thermal analysis of ibuprofen-poloxamer 407 solid dispersions and their resultant phase diagram suggested solid solutions and a eutectic system were formed, depending on drug loading. Dissolution studies showed fastest release from the solid solutions; dissolution rates from solid solutions were 12-fold greater than the dissolution of ibuprofen powder whereas the eutectic system gave a 6-fold improvement over the powder. When designing solid dispersions to improve the delivery of poorly-water soluble drugs, the nature of drug:carrier interactions, which are governed by the stochiometry of the composition, can affect the dissolution rate improvement.