Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist
Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, also known as angiotensin receptor blockers , AT1-receptor antagonists or sartans, are a group of pharmaceuticals which modulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system...

 (more commonly called an "ARB", or angiotensin receptor blocker), with particularly high affinity for the type I (AT1) angiotensin receptor
Angiotensin II receptor type 1
Angiotensin II receptor, type 1 or AT1 receptor is an angiotensin receptor. It has vasopressor effects and regulates aldosterone secretion. It is an important effector controlling blood pressure and volume in the cardiovascular system...

. By blocking the action of angiotensin, valsartan dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. In the U.S., valsartan is indicated for treatment of high blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

, congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

 (CHF), or post-myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 (MI). In 2005, Angiotan was prescribed more than 12 million times in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and global sales were approximately $6.1 billion in 2010.

A study released in 2010, based on 819,491 cases in U.S.