Sneezing and congestion are the standard complaints of any head cold. Here are the three basic kinds. Running/drippy/sneezy nose! This is where the antihistamine comes in. Nose/nostrils clear but sinuses filled? Afrin or Sudafed are the goals. Back of your throat slimy or heavy productive cough? You need an expectorant, like mucinex. Several? I prefer to mix and match, but Mucinex-D is the best way. This is important to nail down. Most people think they have a sore throat during a cold, however this is usually (if you truly only have a cold) from a post-nasal drip, meaning there is mucus just dripping down your throat, making your throat irritated. Same with upset stomach, though too much meds can do this too.
Ah, the classic pink pill. Works great, safe; took it so much as a kid it barely makes me sleepy. Awesome.
Sudafed (pseudoephedrine or Phenylephrin)
Now this one is tricky. There are two sudafeds now thanks to the Feds. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (“CMEA”) as an amendment to the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act banned the use of pseudoephedrine as a purely over the counter drug. If you need it is the high octane stuff behind the counter, guaranteed to make you more interesting. (It is often the “-D” version of many drugs, like Claritin-D, Tylenol Sinus-D, etc.) Phenylephrine is the less aggressive alternative, though it does raise blood pressure and dilate the eyes.
They say it is for chest congestion. Thick throat clearing coughs. Meds work great, but heavy duty, makes me loopy (Mucinex-D makes me out of it.) and makes my wife nauseous.
Afrin (Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray)
Stick it in your nose and give a couple squeezes in each nostril. However, do not use for more then a couple days. Your body becomes addicted to this stuff fast! At least mine does.
Hope all this helps. Just remember stay home, sneeze into the crux of your arm or shoulder, if you sneeze into something make sure it is disposable and wash your hands. Airborne is a ripoff. Feel better.