What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original can be viewed in PDF format using the link above.

The text only version may be available from RNIB in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 06934/0182.

ZOMORPH 10mg, 30mg, 60mg, 100mg, 200mg capsules


Zomorph 10mg, 30mg, 60mg, 100mg, 200mg capsules

(morphine sulfate)

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

In this leaflet:

1. What Zomorph capsules are and what they are used for
2. What you need to know before you take Zomorph capsules
3. How to take Zomorph capsules
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Zomorph capsules
6. Contents of the pack and other information


Zomorph capsules belong to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics or ‘painkillers’. They contain the active ingredient morphine sulfate in a special slow-release form which gives relief from severe pain over a period of 12 hours, particularly pain associated with cancer.


DO NOT take Zomorph capsules if:

  • you are allergic to morphine or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
  • you have breathing difficulties such as obstructive airways disease or respiratory depression. Your doctor will have told you if you have these conditions. Symptoms may include breathlessness, coughing or breathing more slowly or weakly than expected
  • you have unexplained abdominal pains
  • you have a condition where your stomach empties more slowly than it should (delayed gastric emptying)
  • you have severe liver problems
  • you have severe headache (raised intracranial pressure), for example from a head injury, or if you feel sick. This is because the capsules may make these symptoms worse or hide the extent of the head injury
  • you have fits (convulsions)
  • you have recently consumed a large amount of alcohol, or have been intoxicated
  • you have a risk of bowel obstruction (paralytic ileus)
  • you are taking a type of medicine for depression known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or have taken this type of medicine in the last 14 days
  • the patient is a child.

Warning and precautions

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Zomorph capsules.

The dose should be reduced or stopped if you:

  • are elderly
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have an underactive thyroid.

The capsules should be used with caution if you have:

  • breathing problems, such as impaired lung function or severe bronchial asthma. Your doctor will have told you if you have these conditions. Symptoms may include breathlessness and coughing
  • convulsions (fits)
  • dependence (severe withdrawal symptoms if the medicine is withdrawn suddenly)
  • low blood pressure
  • a severe heart problem after long-term lung disease (severe cor pulmonale)
  • inflammation of the pancreas (which causes severe pain in the abdomen and back) or problems with your gall bladder
  • an inflammatory bowel disorder
  • an enlarged prostate gland, in which case you may have problems passing urine
  • have poor adrenal gland function (your adrenal gland is not working properly which may cause symptoms including weakness, weight loss, dizziness, feeling or being sick)
  • and in patients in a state of shock.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking Zomorph capsules:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain despite the fact that you are taking increasing doses (hyperalgesia). Your doctor will decide whether you will need a change in dose or a change in strong analgesic (“painkiller”).
  • Weakness, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting or low blood pressure. This may be a symptom of the adrenals producing too little of the hormone cortisol, and you may need to take hormone supplement.
  • Loss of libido, impotence, cessation of menstruation. This may be because of decreased sex hormone production.
  • If you have once been dependent on drugs or alcohol. Also tell if you feel that you are becoming dependent on Zomorph capsules while you are using it. You may have started to think a lot about when you can take the next dose, even if you do not need it for the pain.
  • Abstinence symptoms or dependence. The most common abstinence symptoms are mentioned in section 3. If this occurs, your doctor may change the type of medicine or the times between doses.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Zomorph capsules.

All brands of slow-release forms of morphine like Zomorph capsules are not equivalent.

Other medicines and Zomorph capsules:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including those obtained without a prescription.

This is especially important if you are taking any of the medicines mentioned below:

  • Rifampicin to treat e.g. tuberculosis
  • Concomitant use of Zomorph capsules and sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs increases the risk of drowsiness, difficulties in breathing (respiratory depression), coma and may be life-threatening. Because of this, concomitant use should only be considered when other treatment options are not possible. However if your doctor does prescribe Zomorph capsules together with sedative medicines the dose and duration of concomitant treatment should be limited by your doctor. Please tell your doctor about all sedative medicines you are taking, and follow your doctor’s dose recommendation closely. It could be helpful to inform friends or relatives to be aware of the signs and symptoms stated above. Contact your doctor when experiencing such symptoms.
  • Other opioid analgesics, such as buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine or pentazocine
  • Medicines for depression, i.e. MAOIs and antidepressants
  • Anaesthetics
  • Antipsychotics (for psychiatric diseases), anxiolytics (for anxiety), phenothiazines (for schizophrenia)
  • Hypnotics/sedatives (for sleeping problems)
  • Cyclizine, mexiletine, metoclopramide, domperidone (for nausea and vomiting)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure
  • Gabapentin to treat epilepsy or neuropathic pain (pain due to nerve problems)
  • Medicines used to prevent or relieve the symptoms of an allergy (antihistamines)
  • Medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease
  • Certain types of medicines to stop you feeling or being sick
  • Cimetidine to treat stomach ulcers, indigestion or heartburn
  • Ritonavir (for AIDS treatment).

Taking with food and drink

Drinking alcohol whilst taking Zomorph capsules may make you feel more sleepy or increase the risk of serious side effects such as shallow breathing with a risk of stopping breathing, and loss of consciousness. It is recommended not to drink alcohol while you’re taking Zomorph capsules.

Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility

Zomorph capsules should not be taken if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine.

If Zomorph capsules is used for a long time during pregnancy, there is a risk of the new-born child having drug withdrawal (abstinence) symptoms which should be treated by a doctor.

Driving and using machines

The medicine can affect your ability to drive as it may make you sleepy or dizzy.

  • Do not drive while taking this medicine until you know how it affects you.
  • It is an offence to drive if this medicine affects your ability to drive.
  • However, you would not be committing an offence if:
    • The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and
    • You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber or in the information provided with the medicine and
    • It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether it is safe for you to drive while taking this medicine.

Zomorph capsules contain sucrose and [60 mg strength only] sunset yellow (E110)

If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.

[60 mg strength only] The capsules contain sunset yellow (E110), which may cause allergic reactions.

This medicine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per capsule, that is to say essentially ‘sodium-free’.


Always take Zomorph capsules exactly as your doctor has told you; check with him/her if you are not sure.

The usual dose is:

Adults - one capsule, swallowed whole with a glass of water, every 12 hours.

Elderly - a reduced dose may be prescribed.

If you have difficulty swallowing capsules - The entire capsule contents can be sprinkled onto a spoonful of semi-solid food (such as plain yoghurt) and swallowed.

To open the capsule, hold upright to contain the granules at the bottom then gently squeeze the top and twist to remove, taking care not to spill the contents. Do not chew or crush the granules. This can be dangerous, causing serious problems such as an overdose, which may be fatal.

If you take more Zomorph capsules than you should

Contact your doctor or nearest casualty immediately if you, or someone you know, have taken too many capsules. Remember to take any remaining medicine and this leaflet with you if possible.

People who have taken an overdose may get pneumonia from inhaling vomit or foreign matter, symptoms may include breathlessness, cough and fever.

People who have taken an overdose may also have breathing difficulties leading to unconsciousness or even death.

People who have taken an overdose may also have extreme miosis (constriction of pupils in the eyes), low blood pressure, a fall in body temperature and coma.

If you forget to take Zomorph capsules

If you remember within 4 hours of missing your dose, take a capsule straight away. Take your next dose at the normal time. If you are more than 4 hours late taking your dose, please call your doctor for advice. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one forgotten.

If you stop taking Zomorph capsules

Do not stop treatment with Zomorph capsules unless agreed with your doctor. If you want to stop the treatment with Zomorph capsules, ask your doctor how to slowly decrease the doses so you avoid abstinence symptoms. Abstinence symptoms may include body aches, tremors, diarrhoea, stomach pain, nausea, flu-like symptoms, fast heartbeat and large pupils. Psychological symptoms include an intense feeling of unsatisfaction, anxiety and irritability

Should this occur, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.


Like all medicines, Zomorph capsules can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Important side effects or symptoms to look out for and what to do if you are affected:

  • Serious allergic reaction which causes difficulty in breathing or dizziness
  • A condition where you breathe more slowly or weakly than expected (respiratory depression).

If you are affected by these important side effects or get any sudden wheeziness, swelling of the eyelids, face or lips, rash or itching especially those covering your whole body contact a doctor immediately.

The following side effects have also been reported:

Very common side effects (May affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Constipation (your doctor can prescribe a laxative to overcome this problem)
  • Feeling sick (nausea)

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 patients):

  • Confusion, difficulty in sleeping
  • Drowsiness, headache, dizziness, involuntary muscle contractions
  • Vomiting (being sick), dry mouth, abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Itching, skin rash
  • Feeling of unusual weakness, generally feeling unwell

Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 patients):

  • Allergic reactions
  • Mood changes, agitation, a feeling of extreme happiness, hallucinations
  • Fits (convulsions), increase in muscle tension, involuntary contractions of muscles (myoclonus), abnormal skin sensations like tingling or numbness (paraesthesia), fainting, changes in taste
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Flushing, low blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties (possibly due to fluid on the lungs) or wheezing
  • Indigestion, blockage of the intestine (ileus)
  • Hives
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
  • Abnormal blood test results (increased levels of liver enzymes)

Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from available data):

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Excitation (particularly in the elderly), drug dependence, abnormal thoughts
  • Sedation, increased pressure in the brain, pain due to a something which does not normally provoke pain), an increased sensitivity to pain, sweating
  • Miosis (contraction of the pupil in the eye)
  • Faster or slower than usual heartbeat
  • Light-headedness when standing, high blood pressure
  • Decreased cough reflex
  • Colicky abdominal pain or discomfort, an increase in the severity of symptoms associated with inflammation of the pancreas (severe pain in the abdomen and back)
  • Burning sensation or difficulty when passing urine
  • Absence of menstrual periods, impotence
  • Low body temperature
  • Abstinence symptoms or dependence (for symptoms see section 3: If you stop taking Zomorph capsules)
  • Abstinence symptoms in babies born to mothers who have used Zomorph (See section 2 ‘Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility’)

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme. Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.


Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Store below 25°C in a dry place, protected from heat. Do not use Zomorph capsules after the expiry date shown on the pack.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.


What Zomorph capsules contain

The active ingredient is morphine sulfate BP; each capsule contains either 10mg, 30mg, 60mg, 100mg or 200mg of this substance.

The other ingredients are sucrose, maize starch, polyethylene glycol 4000, ethyl-cellulose, cetyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, dibutyl sebacate, talc, gelatin, iron oxide ink (E172), and the following colourings:

  • titanium dioxide (E171) - 10mg, 30mg, 60mg and 100mg capsules
  • quinoline yellow (E104) - 10mg capsules
  • erythrosine (E127) - 30mg capsules
  • sunset yellow (E110) - 60mg capsules.

See end of Section 2 for further, important information on sunset yellow and sucrose.

What Zomorph capsules look like & contents of the pack

The capsules are made in different colours to identify each strength:

10mg - yellow/clear

30mg - pink/clear

60mg - orange/clear

100mg - white/clear

200mg - clear

They are packed in aluminium/PVC blisters; each pack contains 6 blisters x 10 capsules.

Marketing Authorisation Holder

194 Bureaux de la Colline – Bâtiment D
92213 Saint-Cloud cedex


Chemin de la poudrière
76 120 Grand-Quevilly

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder: United Kingdom: Ethypharm UK - email: [email protected]m.com

This leaflet was last revised: February 2019

C1XXXX 8834483