Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) is a category of drugs which is used as medication in various arthritic conditions to arrest the progression of disease along with relief from pain. About 83% of population worldwide uses DMARDs. Withdrawal of COX-2 inhibitors because of cardiovascular side effects and short-term action associated with glucocorticoids provided a motivation for development of newer DMARDs. Currently non- biological DMARDs like methotrexate, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine and azathioprine serve the purpose of relieving pain and inhibiting the progression of disease. Biological DMARDs like toclizumab, adalimumab, infliximab, golimumab and abatacept have shown more efficacy and lesser side effects as compared to non- biological DMARDs but their access to patient is less because of higher cost. DMARDs act by different mechanisms against inflammation like inhibition of tumor necrosis factor, suppression of IL-1 and TNF-α, induction of apoptosis of inflammatory cells, by increasing chemotactic factors, inhibition of purine synthesis, pyrimidine metabolism or purine embolism. DMARDs have important applications in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and myasthenia gravis. Present review mainly focuses on DMARDs and their clinical applications giving an overview of their mechanism of action, pharmacokinetic properties, advantages over conventional therapies, shortcomings and recent trends.