Decongestant: straight up psuedophedrine. The replacement that they have started selling in the US is only one third as effective because it has a very low absorption rate. It is better to show your ID and ask for the Sudafed behind the counter. You may want the Guaifenesin as well. This is an expectorant... helps with the hacking out of the muck. Mucinex has Guafenesin in it. You can get one with psuedophedrine in it as well.
WVpumpkin I am pretty sure you are looking at an impacted sinus infection. The ear pain and symptoms are normally the give away there. As to why certain antibiotics are better than others. Well all antibiotics are good in there own way. But sinus infections require specialized antibiotics that excel in fighting dark cavity infections. Z-packs are great for lung funk and bronchitis and many other systemic bacterial infections.. strep.. but the sinus cavities are low blood flow dark cavity regions. Thus you needed a stronger higher concentration antibiotic that thrives in said environment. Your 'Cillans, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones are the best at that.
If the sinus infection is impacted in the rear and ethnoid sinuses and not just in the maxillary and frontal sinus cavities you are looking at a need for longer duration antibiotics. When I was getting 6-9 impacted sinus infections a year I was staying on 21-28 days of antibiotics a month.. sometimes for 2 months in duration. If when you have finished your antibiotics you still have sinus pressure/ear pressure you need to call for a refill. Do not allow an antibiotic resistant infection to dig in up there. It is a horrible thing to have to fight off or get cleaned out by an ENT. You should begin to feel some pressure shifting in your sinuses. This is basically day two on your antibiotics. By tomorrow you should be draining out some of the infection.. especially if you start the antibiotics and saline rinses. You want a Nasal pH balanced saline solution.. otherwise the rinses will irritate and inflame the sinus membranes further.
My chronic sinusitis finally resulted in a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and complete sinus roto rootering. Now? I am/have been sinus infection free for the last year.
Gotta love it. I wish you a quick and speedy recovery.