Last updated on June 8th, 2021 at 03:56 am
You know that painful burn that bubbles up after inhaling a bucket of spicy chicken? I feel it almost every time I apply hot sauce these days. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, imagine the sensation in your chest after chugging one too many La Croix at the office, except 10x the sizzle. Regardless, acid reflux is not a fun feeling.
Also commonly known as heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acid reflux affects more than a quarter of Americans. And if you’re like most, you probably forget your antacids at home or in the car more often than not.
Evens is a new direct-to-consumer brand that wants to make it easier than ever to get personalized, affordable heartburn (GERD) or acid reflux treatment on your schedule. Whether you’re looking for short-term (AKA right after those nachos) or long-term relief, Evens helps you create an FDA-approved treatment plan that’s specific to your needs and delivered right to your door.
How is it different than traditional antacids or other over the counter remedies, and is it worth it? Before we go into more depth about Evens, let’s first find out what causes acid reflux and learn about the most effective way to treat it.
What causes acid reflux in the first place?
Acid reflux can be caused by a variety of different foods, such as spicy food, cheese, and alcohol. It can also be caused by a number of other factors, but the main culprit behind acid reflux is something known as a hiatal hernia.
A hiatal hernia is what happens when your stomach bulges (herniates) up into your esophagus. The discomfort comes as acid flows backwards into your esophagus, causing an icky throat burn. Other symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, dry cough, nausea, and a weird feeling that there’s a lump in your throat when there actually isn’t — perhaps just the ghost of last night’s midnight snack.
How do heartburn treatments work?
There are many ways to treat acid reflux and GERD, but not all of them are equally powerful. The most common over-the-counter treatment would be antacids, or tablets made from a powdery base that neutralizes stomach acid when consumed. However, for more intensive and painful symptoms, more powerful medication is required. PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, are often prescribed in this case and can come in a wide range of potency. This medication essentially stops your stomach from producing so much acid on a cellular level. The longer you take a PPI medication, the less and less you’ll experience symptoms of GERD, which of course is the end goal.
Just as well, another common treatment for acid reflux and GERD is to avoid foods that trigger symptoms, such as cheese, wine, and acidic or spicy foods. For many, this isn’t a palatable option, because seriously…is life even worth living without your favorite junk foods?! We don’t think so either.
What kind of treatments does Evens offer for acid reflux and GERD?
Evens offers quite a comprehensive line of acid reflux medications, both over-the-counter and prescription-based, so you can keep chowing down on ALL your favorite foods. They recently expanded their product offering beyond just antacids and other acid reflux medications to include a number of medications for broader GI issues, including supplements like fiber, magnesium, and probiotics that help with prevention.
Once you’ve found the treatment that works for you, you can schedule your medication deliveries on a recurring basis. No need to visit the pharmacy in-person!
If you decide to choose a prescription, you will have to meet with one of Evens’ doctors for a short consultation via video chat. This is necessary to be compliant with local laws and regulations, but also to ensure the medication you are currently taking won’t clash with the prescription you are about to be given. If you haven’t been formally diagnosed with GERD or acid reflux, Evens’ doctors will likely also do this. Luckily, the virtual visit is only $30 and they provide a partner pharmacy that you can call with any follow up questions.
Here’s a handy chart outlining all of Evens treatments:
Evens Treatments for Acid Reflux
|What does it do?||Neutralizes your stomach acid to provide instant relief.||Prevents symptoms by stopping stomach acid production for long-term relief.||Prevents symptoms by stopping stomach acid production for long-term relief.||Prevents symptoms by stopping stomach acid production for long-term relief.||Prevents symptoms by stopping stomach acid production for long-term relief.|
|Price||OTC (750 mg) – $5/month (60 count)
First order FREE
|OTC (20mg) – $21/6 weeks
Rx (40 mg) – $35/month
First order FREE
|OTC (20mg) – $21/6 weeks
Rx (40 mg) – $35/month
First order FREE
Rx (20 mg) – $21/month
First order FREE
Rx (20 mg) – $35/month
First order FREE
|Cost Comparison||Tums (750 mg) – $6.49 per bottle (96 count)||Nexium (20mg) – $27. Nexium (40 mg) – ~$40 per box (42 count)||Prilosec (20mg) – $27.99 per box (42 count)||Protonix (20mg) – $1,570 per box (90 count)||Aciphex (20mg) – $557 per box (30 count)|
|Type of Medication||Tablet||Tablet||Capsule||Tablet||Tablet|
|How to take it||Chew 2-4 tablets||Once per day with water.||Once per day with water.||Once per day with water.||Once per day with water.|
|When to take it||After eating or when symptoms start to appear||30-60 minutes before your morning meal.||30-60 minutes before your morning meal.||30-60 minutes before your morning meal.||30-60 minutes before your morning meal.|
|Safe for pregnant women?||✔️ *Consult your doctor before taking||✔️ *Consult your doctor before taking||✔️ *Consult your doctor before taking||✔️ *Consult your doctor before taking||✔️ *Consult your doctor before taking|
Comparing acid reflux treatments: What’s the difference between antacids, esomeprazole, and omeprazole?
What are antacids? Essentially a science experiment for adults that you’ll never see the reaction to. But you’ll feel it!
As their name suggests, antacids work to neutralize stomach acid. They relieve acid reflux symptoms by relying on the basic chemical principle of acids and bases. When you add a base that contains alkali — an antacid — to acid, which are juices in your stomach that work to breakdown foods, the two react to produce salt and water. The water helps neutralize your stomach, reduce acidity, and thus alleviate discomfort.
As you probably know, antacids are almost always in a chalky substance because they contain at least one of the following ingredients, all with varying abilities to neutralize acid:
- Sodium bicarbonate: The main ingredient in baking soda, with a low acid-neutralizing power.
- Aluminum hydroxide: Possesses a modest acid-neutralizing power.
- Magnesium hydroxide: Possesses a high acid-neutralizing power.
- Calcium carbonate: The main ingredient in chalk, with a very high acid-neutralizing power.
Esomeprazole and Omeprazole
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), aka esomeprazole and omeprazole, are an alternative way to treat acid reflux disease. They work over the long run by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces. They come in pill form that you take daily in the morning, again to support the reduction of acid.
Did you know your stomach starts creating acid before you even eat? And when you do start stuffing your face and expanding your stomach, its acid pumps are activated and outpours a waterfall of acid. PPIs help reduce the acid production by blocking these waterfall-like pumps, thus reducing your symptoms.
PPIs are intended for long-term relief for people who experience chronic heartburn (at least two times per week). These meds are generally effective, but typically only prescribed for patients who have tried antacids, lifestyle changes, and at-home remedies to no avail.
Between the two of PPIs, esomeprazole and omeprazole, the main difference is that esomeprazole comes in a tablet (and is a bit more expensive), while omeprazole comes in an encapsulated pill form. So while the treatments are essentially the same in terms of how they work and their expected effectiveness in treating acid reflux, your preference may vary based on budget and in-take preference.
Pantoprazole vs Rabeprazole
Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole are very similar. However, rabeprazole has been proven to have a stronger inhibited acid output and work for a bit longer than pantoprazole. These two medications are also PPIs that are somewhat stronger than Esomeprazole and Omeprazole.
Just as well, Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole tend to take a bit longer to take effect. Compared to Esomeprazole and Omeprazole, which take about one or two hours to feel effects, Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole take about two and a half hours. Just as well, Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole take up to seven days to feel the full effects, compared to about four days for Omeprazole specifically. Regardless, the effects of Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole last longer than Esomeprazole and Omeprazole.
Overall, preference between all four PPIs comes down to individual use and what works for your body specifically. Pantoprazole and Rabeprazole have been found to be just as effective at treating conditions like GERD and even stomach ulcers.
Vitamins and Supplements for GERD
Evens also offers a small range of supplements that could be beneficial for those with acid reflux and GERD, such as fiber, magnesium, and probiotics.
A fiber-rich diet can help those dealing with GERD control their symptoms overall. It can also help reduce problems with esophageal motility for those who deal with non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease. Thus a simple over the counter fiber supplement can be extremely beneficial.
Magnesium is another holy grail supplement that has been found to possibly help neutralize stomach acid in those with acid reflux symptoms, particularly when combined with hydroxide and carbonate ions.
Probiotics, which work to maintain a healthy level of gut bacteria in the human body, can also be great supplements to try for mild acid reflux symptoms. Recent studies have found that probiotics can have positive outcomes for those that have symptoms of GERD, though more research is needed to determine their effectiveness. However, when used along with PPIs or other acid-reducing medication, probiotics can help promote overall gut health in those with acid reflux or GERD.
It’s worth noting that Evens does not promote their limited supplements as treatments for acid reflux or GERD. Rather, these supplements are promoted as a way to balance overall gut health by supporting nutrient absorption and regularity, while reducing symptoms of bloat and gastrointestinal discomfort.
What are other common treatments for GERD besides Zantac?
Another popular way of treating acid reflux / GERD is with H2 blockers, such as Zantac and Pepcid AC. H2 blockers, or histamine H2 receptor antagonists, work by blocking histamine, which is a chemical produced by your body, mostly in the lining of your stomach.
When your body releases histamine, it triggers the creation of more acid to help digest your food. H2 blockers stop the additional creation of acid that respond to histamine, and reduce acid in your stomach.
While H2 blockers are popular, you may have seen headlines recently that Zantac has been removed from pharmacy shelves around the world due to impurities in the product that could cause cancer.
While the drug has not been officially recalled, it’s more important now than ever to be sure to consult a doctor before you move forward with any type of treatment for your acid reflux or heartburn (GERD) symptoms. Evens understands that while off-the-shelf remedies work for many, they are far from perfect, so consulting a physician early (and often) is the best way to stay heartburn-free.
Acid reflux isn’t new. Evens is just creating a mor e personalized way to treat it.
You’ve been seeing acid reflux commercials, billboards, ads, etc. for years now. Treatments typically used for heartburn (GERD) or acid reflux are becoming ever more familiar. Whether it’s over the counter, like Tums, Alka-Seltzer, or Rolaids, or a prescription like Zantac, Prilosec, or Nexium. There are even plenty of at-home remedies you can try to reduce symptoms without giving up all the delicious foods that cause you pain to begin with.
How does Evens’ quiz work?
You have the option of simply browsing Evens’ products and purchasing them a la carte as needed. However, if you’re unsure which treatment options are best for your symptoms, their quiz is a great place to start.
You’re first asked for your name, phone number, and email. From there, you answer a series of questions about your symptoms, their frequency, past diagnosis, and prior treatments. From there, you’ll be matched with the type of medication Evens believes you’d benefit from the most.
Overall, Evens’ quiz is extremely user-friendly, and the products sold are high-quality, clinically tested, and therefore effective-for-most when treating GERD and acid reflux.
Why so much focus on acid reflux now?
Evens is out to make it easier than ever to attack acid reflux even before it starts. With so many Americans experiencing symptoms and existing players like Zantac in hot water, it’s not a surprise that companies are coming up with more proactive ways to diagnose and treat acid reflux.
Their option to consult with a doctor for just $30 makes it easy to better treat acid reflux, rather than just living in misery with heartburn, or using a reactive remedy like Zantac. By using telehealth, Evens is targeting a younger, tech-savvy demographic that might be less prone to discuss their acid reflux symptoms with a doctor, and more accustomed to ordering everything online.
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While I only suffer the occasional heartburn and haven’t tried Evens treatments myself, I’d recommend taking advantage of their intro offer and receive a free month of antacids (might as well, right?) The team who started Evens (Thirty Madison) is the same parent company that’s now valued over $1b and created Keeps, a reputable DTC telemedicine brand for men focused on hair health.
Thus, this isn’t their first time bringing FDA-regulated prescription meds to market on the web, and just because they are a new brand doesn’t mean they are cutting corners. Quite the opposite, actually!
Overall, Evens is a fantastic solution for people with chronic acid reflux. If you’re tired of downing chalky antacids after each glorious pig out, Evens offers a better, more preventative suit of treatments that provide longer-term relief. It’s also a great option if you’re looking for a Zantac alternative.
If you’ve tried Evens, let us know about your experience in the comments below!