A derivative ultraviolet (UV) spectrophotometric method for the determination of piroxicam in piroxicam-p-cyclodextrin tablets was developed. Phosphate buffer (pH 7.8, .0.1 M) and ethanol were used as a solvent system throughout the study. ln this study, determination of piroxicam was conducted by using first order derivative amplitudes at 261.4 nm (n = 4). Standards for the calibration graph ranging from 2.40 to 20.0 mug/ml were prepared from working standard. The proposed method is accurate with 99.70% +/- 0.50 recovery value and precise with coefficient of variation (CV) of 1.29 The results were compared with those obtained using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) procedure. A reversed-phase C-18 column with aqueous phosphate buffer:methanol, 60:40, v/v, mobile phase was used. UV detector was set at 254 nm. Calibration solutions used in HPLC were ranging from 5 to 20 mug/ml. Results obtained in HPLC were comparable to those obtained by derivative UV spectrophotometric method. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.