Episcleritis is an inflammation of the episclera, the layer of the eyeball between sclera (white part of the eye) and conjunctiva (thin clear skin that covers sclera). It is characterized by dilated tortuous blood vessels that are visible over the sclera, and is often associated with systemic inflammation caused by autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although it is often self-limiting and clears without treatment, topical steroids have typically been used. An effective alternate treatment appeared in a European journal showing the oral medication Vioxx (Rofecoxib) is an effective treatment. "ESO: Rofecoxib Effective in Treating Certain Eye Conditions" By Cameron Johnston MADRID, SPAIN -- June 11, 2003 -- Rofecoxib has been shown to be effective in treating anterior uveitis and episcleritis, two painful and cosmetically distressing ocular conditions that, in the past, have been treated with topical steroids and eye-drops. The study results were presented in a poster at the Annual Meeting of the European Society of Ophthalmology. A single dose of the cox-2 inhibitor is as effective as either of the two previous regimens, but since it can be accomplished through once a day dosing, could make compliance much less arduous for patients. On September 30, 2004 Vioxx was taken off the market by its manufacturer Merck, because of increased risk of heart attack. Although studies have not been done, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxin, or Celebrex may also be effective in treating episcleritis.