I took ibuprofen in the mornings for the sore throat, and acetaminophen in the evenings (pro tip: it doesn't upset your stomach, making it a better painkiller when you're drinking, though it doesn't fight inflammation).
But my best painkiller was Sherry. I felt rundown every morning until we got to a winery, and I got some of that 15% alcohol Fino in me. Then I started feeling better. When we drank buckets of Manzanilla in the evening, I felt great!
This is something your doctor won't tell you, because doctors in the US are afraid to say anything good about alcohol. Of course alcohol is not bad for you when you're sick: most cough syrups and other liquid medications are alcohol-based, which is why true alcoholics have a hard time with headcolds.
You need to drink enough water so that you don't get dehydrated. I went through 12 personal 1.5-liter bottles in six days, not counting all the water I drank at restaurants.
Alcohol simply made me feel better. Unless you have stomach symptoms, I highly recommend it. There's a reason that most patent medicines of the 1800s had a lot of alcohol in them: it works.
Not many people with headcolds can drink in the morning, every morning, like The World's Best Wine Blogger (Roederer Award, 2013) visiting a wine region. But if you can, you should -- you'll feel better.
As for nighttime, you should up the dosage, so you can get to sleep. Here's my best nighttime cold remedy. Keep some lemons and honey around for flu season:
2-3 oz Bourbon or brandy (rum will do)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey
Fresh mint (optional)
Pour lemon, honey and booze in a large mug. Fill with hot water. Drink 'er up. If one of these is insufficient, you're not using enough booze.