Here are the hands of an 83-year-old patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Dr. Gary Gordon says that RA does not have to be as debilitating a condition, as you might think. Watch what this patient does with this telephone book; it’s a true testament to motivation and RA treatment!
Video of 83-year-old patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Main Line Rheumatology sees many patients with osteoporosis. At least 95% are women, yet statistics looking at people over age 65, find the ratio closer to 50%. Why is that? Most women see their gynecologist for a yearly exam, and those doctors are very good about ordering DEXA (bone density) scans. There is no equivalent for men! Perhaps primary care physicians and urologists should be cautioned that men are at risk for osteoporosis as their testosterone levels fall, just the same as estrogen plummets in women after menopause. Read this informative column by Jane E. Brodey, Personal Health columunist for the New York Times, since 1976.
CONGRATULATIONS! Philadelphiamagazine awards Gary V. Gordon, MD,FACP, FACR and Thomas Harder, MD, Main Line Rheumatology, TOP DOCTORS 2019!
Main Line Rheumatology has offices at Lankenau Medical Center and Main Line Health Center, in Broomall. In addition to Dr. Gordon and Dr. Harder, our doctors, Amy Lundholm D.O. and Hyon Ju Park, MD, are both board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine. Call 610-896-8400 for an appointment. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“You have effectively given me my life and hope back, and for that I will be immensely and eternally grateful.” – A.B.
When we see a patient who is not feeling well, we listen to them very carefully, discuss, diagnose their condition, and together as “partners”, choose treatment options. Dialogue is important to achieve the best outcome.
Main Line Rheumatology is very proud to announce that Cheryl Wieczeroek, CRNP, MSN, has been nominated for the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Master Education Award. Cheryl is a dedicated health team member at Main Line Rheumatology, and an asset to our practice and patients.
TV commercials about medication and risks can be very confusing.
By Gary V. Gordon, MD, FACP, FACR
Every day when we watch television, we’re bombarded with commercials for all kinds of medications. As a rheumatologist, I have great concern when I see medication commercials that patients take for psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis. We are frightened by the lengthy list of potentially terrible side effects from taking medications for psoriatic arthritis. I often think anyone in their right mind would not take any advertised medications where death, or some serious or lingering infection could be the outcome. Exchange one bad problem for another? No doubt, the pharmaceutical companies have done marketing studies that show TV drug advertising increases the rise in drug sales, with the bottom line – “if you advertise, they will come.” After watching these ads, some patients will run right to their doctor and ask, “Why are you not prescribing these drugs for me?” or in some cases, “Why are you?”
I think most physicians probably would say “No” to television drug commercials. There are frequently mixed messages with the commercials’ optics, and narrative. Some medication information can really frighten or confuse viewers, scaring them away from taking medications which might be really helpful in their treatment. At the end of these commercials, there is the rapidly announced list of terrible, potential drug side effects but in reality, most of them are extremely unlikely. For example, the biologic drugs, Humira, Enbrel and Remicade, as well as the newer medications such as Xeljanz, can, in theory, cause viral hepatitis or tuberculosis. However, of the hundreds of patients I have treated with these types of drugs, I have yet to see one case of tuberculosis or hepatitis. Why are these potential side effects listed? The listing is a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) mandate, and it is hard to argue with the FDA that’s just trying to protect the public. However, it is difficult for somebody watching TV drug commercials to know the likelihood of these possible side effects. If the consequence of untreated rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis is that a patient may be crippled and unable to work, a small 3% chance of infection may be a worthwhile risk. Medical providers are risk averse; we want patients as healthy as possible, and living a good, quality of life! But an everyday reality is when you get out of bed, you could be exposed to a potential hazard; driving your car to run an errand, getting on a train or plane, or even just walking to the mailbox. Medical treatment with medications is also about weighing the risks against the benefits. With professional medical guidance, we all aim for the right decision. Having a complete and honest discussion with your rheumatologist about the benefits and risks of your prescribed medicines, is the reasonable approach.
As far as these TV drug commercials, next time just hit the MUTE button on your remote control!
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved an osteoporosis drug, romosozumab (brand name Evenity), that restores bone without breaking it down, according to the findings of two large clinical trials. This breakthrough represents the first new treatment approach in nearly two decades, developed by Amgen, in collaboration with the Belgian drug company UCB. Read more!
Any questions or to speak to one of our doctors, please call 610-896-8400
The practice of Main Line Rheumatology is proud to announce that Healthgrades™ has awarded Gary V. Gordon, MD, FACP, FACR and Thomas Harder MD, the distinction of 2019 HONOR ROLL doctors in the category of Rheumatology, Pennsylvania.
Healthgrades is an online database of doctors, dentists, and hospitals that has over 100 million users and has amassed data on more than three million U.S. healthcare providers. is an online database of doctors, dentists, and hospitals that has over 100 million users and has amassed data on more than three million U.S. healthcare providers. In a recent study, Healthgrades and Yelp proved to be the two most important sites for healthcare professionals.