Gastroretentive drug delivery systems are able to prolong the overall gastric residence time and can improve the oral bioavailability of the medicaments that show site specific absorption from the stomach or upper part of the small intestine. Various approaches are currently utilized to retain the dosage form in the stomach including polymeric bioadhesive systems, floating drug delivery systems, swelling and expanding systems, high density systems, biodegradable hydrogel systems and other delayed gastric emptying devices. Among the numerous polymers that are being used for gastroretentive drug delivery systems, hydroxylpropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), possessing hydrophilic and gel forming properties, is extremely advantageous. It is also nontoxic and biocompatible. In this article, the important properties of HPMC and various techniques used for preparing gastroretentive dosage forms based on HPMC are reviewed. This review also includes the investigation of various classes of drugs used for preparing HPMC based gastroretentive drug delivery system.