Factors contributing to incomplete drug release from a number of mesoporous silica formulations are not well understood. This study aims to address this gap in knowledge by exploring the role of drug adsorption onto silica substrates during the drug release process in dissolution media. Adsorption isotherms were generated to understand drug adsorption behaviour onto the silica surface. Two silica materials were selected (SBA-15 (mesoporous) and Aerosil®200 (non-porous)) to investigate the influence of porous architecture on the adsorption/dissolution processes. The ability of the dissolution medium to wet the silica surface, particularly the porous network, was investigated by the addition of a surfactant to the dissolution medium. The results demonstrated that a larger amount of drug was bound/m2 to the non-porous surface than to the mesoporous material. Adsorption isotherms proved useful in understanding drug adsorption/release behaviour for the non-porous silica formulation. However, the quantity of drug remaining on the mesoporous silica surface after dissolution was significantly higher than the amount predicted using adsorption isotherm data. These results suggest that a fraction of loaded drug molecules were tightly bound to the silica surface or attached to sites which are inaccessible for the dissolution media. The presence of surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulphate, in the media enhanced drug release from the silica surface. This behaviour can be attributed to both the improved wetting characteristics of the media and adsorption of the surfactant to the silica surface. The findings of this study reinforce the significance of the role that silica porous architecture plays in the dissolution process and indicates that accessible surface area is an important parameter to consider for mesoporous systems in relation to drug release.