Various butorphanol-loaded microparticles have been prepared with a biodegradable copolymer P(FAD-SA) of erucic acid dimer (FAD) and sebacic acid (SA) and a copolymer P(CPP-SA) of carboxyphenoxypropane (CPP) and SA using a melt compounding and milling method. Drug release was measured in vitro following incubation of drug-loaded microparticles in water for injection at 37 degrees C. It was found that butorphanol was released in a sustained manner, yielding a cumulative drug release of about 100% over a period of 48 hr. Also, drug release was affected by drug loading and the size of the microparticles; however, it was not significantly influenced by the copolymer composition. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) results showed that most of the particles were irregular in shape with uneven surfaces. The molecular weights of the copolymers were not changed after this fabrication process. In addition, 20% butorphanol-encapsulated microspheres were prepared with copolymer P(FAD-SA) by spray-drying. The SEM micrograph shows that the particle sizes of the microspheres ranged from 2 to 10 microns, and the external surfaces appear smooth. Moreover, rapid drug release was observed for these microspheres, with more than 92% of the encapsulated drug released within the first 2 hr.