The article presents a brief but comprehensive review of the large variety of mathematical models of drug controlled release from polymeric monoliths in the last 25 years. The models are considered systematically, from the first simple empirical models up to the most comprehensive theoretical ones taking into account the main release mechanisms (diffusion, swelling, dissolution or erosion) simultaneously. Their advantages and limitations are briefly discussed and some applications are outlined. The present review shows the choice of appropriate mathematical model for a particular controlled system design mainly depends on the desired predictive ability and accuracy of the model. This aspect is connected with the necessity the main factors influencing the concrete release kinetics, especially the basic controlling mechanisms, to be identified in advance.