How are diffuse scleritis and nodular scleritis treated?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019
  • Author: Manolette R Roque, MD, MBA, FPAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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The initial therapy consists of a systemic NSAID; in case of therapeutic failure, 2 additional successive different NSAIDs should be tried following the first drug. In high-risk patients, consider appropriate gastrointestinal protection with misoprostol or omeprazole.

If NSAIDs are not effective or have untoward complications, oral corticosteroids can be substituted. Remission may be maintained with continued NSAIDs.

Periorbital and subconjunctival steroid injections have been reported to be efficacious as adjunctive therapy. Caution should be observed, particularly when a comorbid infectious etiology such as toxoplasmosis or syphilis cannot be completely ruled out. [11]

In case of therapeutic failure of systemic corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs should be added or substituted. Methotrexate (MTX) can be the first choice, but azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclophosphamide, or cyclosporine may also be helpful. [12, 13, 14] Cyclophosphamide should be the first choice in treating patients with associated potentially lethal vasculitic diseases, such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis or polyarteritis nodosa.

In case of therapeutic failure, biologic response modifiers, such as infliximab or adalimumab, may be effective. [15, 16, 17, 1, 6] Other alternatives include golimumab, certolizumab, tocilizumab, and rituximab, although further investigation is warranted. [18, 19, 20]

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