In the present study, sodium alginate (NaAlg)/sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC) composite hydrogel beads were prepared by cross-linking with barium chloride solution. The degree of swelling and the release profile of methotrexate (MTX) from the beads were investigated under phosphate buffer saline (PBS) condition (pH = 7.4 at 37 degrees C). Since the water solubility of MTX is low, the drug was dissolved in the green solvent DMSO and added to the polymer solution. The existence of DMSO (10% v/v) significantly affected the morphology, swelling, and release profiles of the beads. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis were performed to characterize the Ba-Alg/CMC composites. The results showed that almost the total amount of MTX release (98.1 +/- 2.64%) was completed in 5 h. Moreover, synthesized Cu(II) (MXT-Cu) and Zn(II) (MXT-Zn) metal complexes of MTX were loaded to Ba-Alg/CMC beads and subjected to drug release studies. Entrapment efficiency (EE%) and release behaviors of the metal complexes of MTX were compared to MTX. The mostly used drug release kinetic models which are first order, Higuchi and Hixson-Crowell were applied to release data.