Tums and Rolaids are short term acting antacids. Short term supplements and OTC antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids, and other common antacids, work within seconds and last for 1-2 hours. They act by neutralizing stomach acid. The stomach, however (as do all body organs), has a feedback mechanism. When it senses that there is not enough acid, it will start to make more acid. Because of this, the relief is short lived due to the rebounding acidity.
Episolve GI is a medium acting antacid</h2> Medium acting antacids, like Episovle GI, work within minutes and last for several hours. Episolve GI is a suspension of extra virgin olive oil and calcium carbonate and Vitamin E. It has three physical components: a physical layer of olive oil, a physical layer of calcium carbonate, and a physical layer of both olive oil and calcium carbonate. Each layer has its own timed and biological role. The calcium carbonate layer is the fast acting component. It reduces the acid load on the esophageal gastric junction similar to short term antacids. Episolve GI, however, goes one step further. The layer of olive oil floats to the top of the gastric content and coats the mucosa of the LES sphincter, preventing the acid from causing further pain. The third layer of calcium carbonate and olive oil is slowly digested, meaning it slowly continues to release its components of olive oil and calcium carbonate over a few hours. [1,2] Hence, Episolve GI does not cause dramatic change in the acidity of the stomach. This is true even when the stomach starts producing more acid needed for digestion, with the olive oil alleviating the reflux effect on the gastroesophageal junction.
As a supplement, Episolve GI should be taken during the time of day (or night) when symptoms are known to be at their worst. Therefore, it can be used as preventive measure before, during, or after dinner, or prior to sleep in order to alleviate overnight acid reflux and morning acid mouth sensation. It can also be taken with or at the end of a high protein meal, which is known to worsen GERD. The usual dose is approximately 2-4 capsules per meal. Additional doses can be taken, but should not exceed 12 capsules per day.