A series of hybrid polymeric hydrogels, prepared by the reaction of acrylic acid-functionalized chitosan with either N-isopropylacrylamide or 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate monomers, were synthesized, pressed into minitablets, and investigated for their ability to act as controlled release vehicles for ophthalmic drug delivery. For comparison, interpolymeric complex analogues synthesized using the same monomers and pure, unfunctionalized chitosan were examined by means of an identical characterization protocol. The effects of network structure and composition upon the swelling properties, adhesion behavior, and drug release characteristics were investigated. Comparative in vitro studies employing chloramphenicol, atropine, norfloxacin, or pilocarpine informed the selection of drug-specific carrier compositions for the controlled delivery of these compounds. In addition, in vivo (rabbit model) experiments involving the delivery of pilocarpine indicated that chitosan-based hybrid polymer networks containing 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate are useful carriers for the delivery of this therapeutic agent.