Abstract This work examined the physico-chemical phenomena induced in aqueous suspensions of pyrantel pamoate by two varieties of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) of different molecular weights, and the effects of these phenomena on the physical stability of the suspension. The mechanism of the interfacial adsorption of the polymer was investigated by constructing adsorption isotherms: for the two HPMC varieties, the isotherms were of type L and were fitted with the Langmuir model; of the NaCMCs, only the variety with higher molecular weight was adsorbed, its adsorption isotherm being of type S (sigmoidal). The resulting monolayer films were characterized viscosimetrically, determining their thickness and the number of polymer molecules adsorbed per unit area. The nonionic polymers formed thinner, more continuous monolayers than the NaCMC. Only the nonionic polymers significantly altered the zeta potential of the systems. In the range of conditions studied, all the polymers stabilized the initially flocculated systems, decreasing sedimentation volume and increasing the time necessary to redisperse them (the redispersabilily value). This stabilization occurred either by the steric mechanism (HPMCs and the high-molecular-weight NaCMC) or by depletion mechanisms (low-molecular-weight NaCMC). Owing to the complexity of these mechanisms, sedimentation volume was not found to be a useful index of the consistency of the sediments obtained from the suspensions.