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 are: PL06934/0182, PL06934/0185, PL06934/0186, PL06934/0184, PL06934/0183.

Zomorph capsules


Zomorph capsules

(morphine sulfate, 10mg, 30mg, 60mg, 100mg, 200mg)

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine.

  • Please 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. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.
  • If you suffer from any side effects that get serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor.

In this leaflet:

1. What Zomorph capsules are and what they are used for
2. Before you take Zomorph capsules
3. How to take Zomorph capsules
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Zomorph capsules
6. Further information


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


DO NOT take Zomorph capsules if:

  • you have an allergy (hypersensitivity) to morphine sulfate or any of the other ingredients in the product (see Section 6 and end of Section 2)
  • you have breathing difficulties
  • you have unexplained abdominal pains
  • you have liver problems
  • you have raised intracranial pressure (severe headache), for example from a head injury
  • you have convulsions (fits)
  • you have recently consumed a large amount of alcohol, or have been intoxicated
  • paralytic ileus (bowel obstruction)
  • you have ever taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for depression, or have done so in the last 14 days
  • the patient is a child.

Take special care with Zomorph capsules

The dose should be reduced or stopped if you:

  • are elderly
  • are in a state of shock
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have an underactive thyroid or adrenal gland
  • have asthma.

The capsules should be used with caution if you have:

  • low blood pressure
  • convulsions (fits)
  • dependence (severe withdrawal symptoms if the medicine is withdrawn suddenly)
  • an enlarged prostate gland, in which case you may have problems passing urine.

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.

Taking other medicines:

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken 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 tricyclic 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)
  • 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 and breast-feeding

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.

Important information about some of the ingredients of Zomorph capsules

Sucrose - if you know you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine.

Sunset yellow (60mg capsules only) - may cause allergic reactions.


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.

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.

If you are affected by these important side effects contact a doctor immediately.

The most common side effects are nausea, constipation, confusion and occasionally vomiting.

The following side effects have also been reported:

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

  • Drowsiness, headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching, skin rash

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

  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Facial flushing, lo w blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hives
  • Abdominal pain

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

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Excitation (particularly in the elderly), drug dependence
  • 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
  • Burning sensation or difficulty when passing urine
  • Low body temperature
  • Abstinence symptoms or dependence (for symptoms see section 3: If you stop taking Zomorph capsules)

If any of these side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor.

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. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.


Keep 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.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. 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 Ltd
Tel: + 44 (0)1277 266 600

This leaflet was last revised: August 2018

C11952 8834481