8 research trials were combined with results showing that for patients with sore throats (with negative rapid strep test) and painful swallowing that steroids may treat the symptoms. Patients who received steroids were three times more likely to report complete resolution of symptoms at 24 hours than those that did not have steroids.
We know that corticosteroids have an effect of suppressing the immune system and carry the theoretical risk of making an existing infection worse. For this reason, steroids should be considered but may not be given. There have not been any studies comparing pain relief between steroids (with above risks) to pain relievers like acetaminophen and NSAIDs.
So, you and your doctor can decide when and if steroids are given.