The research part is easy. Just plug each of the drugs into a search engine like Google, add a symptom or two that you’ve noticed, and check out the results. If you’re able to process more technical information, try a medical search engine like www.pubmed.gov or https://scholar.google.com/.
Don’t believe everything you find, especially on the non-technical side of the web. But if you come across significant evidence that a drug may be harming your loved one, and if it comes from apparently reliable sources, start building your case: Compile the evidence along with a full list of the medications he or she is currently taking, print it out and highlight the key points for presentation to the doctor in charge.
If this physician is less than approachable, or is always pressed for time in today’s drive-through healthcare environment, consider first taking your case to a local pharmacist. (Make an appointment if necessary; pharmacists seem to be even busier than doctors these days and will no doubt appreciate your sensitivity to his or her stress level.) Outline your concerns and what you’ve found out so far. Take careful notes and add them to your evidence document – and then approach the responsible physician with this professional take on the situation.
Never assume that having a slew of healthcare providers tending to your loved one is adequate protection against dangerous drug side effects or interactions.
Here's an example: My mother had a seizure disorder for which her five-star neurologist often tried new medications. She’d been on just such a “latest and greatest” drug for about a week when she suddenly became extremely dopey. Her nurses and primary-care doctor just shrugged it off. Fortunately, I was freaked out enough to call her neurologist; he demanded that she be sent to the ER immediately, for cold-turkey removal from the drug without the mandatory weaning, because he considered her situation to be life-threatening.
That’s just one example; I could cite many more from what I’ve seen over the past 25 years.
So if you are a loved one’s court of last resort, remain on high alert for medication issues. Be willing to do the necessary homework. And get ready to sound the alarm far and wide whenever necessary.