Biologic response modifiers. The newest category of medications used for rheumatoid arthritis and a few other inflammatory forms of arthritis are the biologic agents. There are currently eight such agents approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each blocks a step in the inflammation process without suppressing the entire immune system. In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, certain biologic agents may be used in juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

Read more about biologics.

Gout medications. Some medications for gout are designed to reduce levels of uric acid in the blood to prevent future attacks of joint pain and inflammation. Others are designed to relieve the pain and inflammation of an acute attack. Many people with gout take both types of medication.

Read more about gout drugs.

Osteoporosis medications. Osteoporosis medications are those used to slow the loss of bone or help the body build new bone. Although they are not used specifically to treat back problems, strong bones are less prone to fracture. Certain medications – called bisphophonates – in this category are also used to treat Paget's disease of the bone, which can also affect the spine.

Read more about osteoporosis medications.

Fibromyalgia medications.  Doctors prescribe medications from a variety of drug classes to treat fibromyalgia. Only three of these drugs – the anti-seizure medication pregabalin (Lyrica) and two antidepressants, duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) – are FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia. Many others are used off-label in fibromyalgia treatment because they have been shown in clinical trials to ease different symptoms. These include some other antidepressants, muscle relaxants and analgesics.

Read more about fibromyalgia medications.

Learn about fibromyalgia.