For immediate relief of a sore throat, use Chloraseptic. The only problem with it is that it is imprecise, numbs anything it touches, and doesn't last as long as I would like. Ricola cough drops are my favorite (honey lemon...I eat those things like candy when I have sore throats). Tea is also good.
If you have a doctor friend, you can also get yourself a prescription for steroids. That's more for if you've got something long-term like Mono. I only know that because I did this when I got Mono while I was in a musical. Strangely, a very low fever and the sore throat from hell were my only symptoms.
I sang at Carnegie Hall once with strep throat. That sucked. The doctor wanted to give me steroids, but I declined on account that I'm hairy enough. That and he made them out to be way scary.
I saw no ill effects from taking the prescribed steroids. I had a month-long course I think. Sure, if I'd taken them for years it probably wouldn't be great, and I'm sure you can get higher doses than what I had. Despite what they tell you in DARE, steroids will not magically turn you into a stupid, violent, sweaty ape.
I used to get strep throat a lot in Middle School--multiple times in a year. Without fail, 24 hours after starting antibiotics I was fine. Of course, I tend to be disease-resistant in the first place. I never had much more than a sore throat and low fever with strep (sometimes almost no fever at all...I think I built up a pretty high resistance to it). I'm still somewhat conditioned to get a strep test at the first signs of a sore throat.